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Showing posts from September, 2016

Mental health: Experiences from working in a mother and baby unit

Bhakti Visani, a GP ST1 trainee talks about her psychiatric placement in a mother and baby unit. During my F2 year I undertook a 4 month psychiatry placement, based in a mother and baby unit. Before starting, psychiatry was definitely not in my top 5 list of coveted jobs. I initially saw it as just having to ‘get through’ the 4 months. Little did I know that this specialised cocktail of psychiatry, obstetrics and paediatrics would afford me the opportunity to learn about topics that will be invaluable to me as a GP. To me, the most important of these were risk assessment in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and being aware of which services to call upon in different scenarios.
The ward itself was very homely, accommodating up to 7 mothers with their babies at a time. It was different to my previous experience of a general psychiatry ward, as it fostered a calm and nurturing environment for the service users. The nature of these womens’ illnesses inevitably made them vulnerable, …

Actions we have taken to boost the profile of general practice teaching at Imperial College

One of the objectives of the Department if Primary Care and Public Health is to raise the profile of General Practice within the medical school. Some of the initiatives we have started to achieve this aim include:
Employing more GPs in academic rolesIncreasing the number of community teaching placements for medical studentsSetting up new Special Study Modules (e.g. in health inequalities, prison medicine)Integrating undergraduate teaching in general practice with postgraduate training of GP Specialist TraineesWorking more closely with GP Training Schemes (such as the Imperial GP Training Programme) to offer GP trainees experience in teaching medical studentsHold an annual careers day in collaboration with Health Education NW London and the Hammersmith & Fulham GP FederationEstablished an undergraduate GP societyEncourage our academic GPs to be more active on social media, and to publish and present their work in academic forumsHold an annual GP Teachers Forum and regular short cou…

Teaching Tips series: Giving Constructive Feedback

Feedback helps answer: “How am I doing?” and “How can I get better?”

It has been described as an essential element of the educational process that can help trainees reach their maximum potential (1). Feedback links the teaching and assessment roles of teachers and demonstrates your commitment to the learners (2).

With this in mind here are my top tips to giving constructive feedback:
Think about HOW, WHERE and WHEN you will give feedbackSignpost: Students do not often recognise feedback unless they know it is coming

B - Balanced -       Include positive and negative comments – what worked and what could be done differently. Give choices and suggestions for improvement.
O - Observed -      Base feedback on what you have observed: "I saw..." "I heard you say...". Focus on 2-3 points to avoid overwhelming the learner.
O - Objective -      Describe actions and behaviour, not personality. Take ownership of your feedback.
S - Specific -          Provide details rather than …

A View from the Community - Dr Dana Beale

As part of our View from the Community series of articles, our Year 6 Specialty Choice Lead Dr Ros Herbert interviewed community teacher Dr Dana Beale, to get the inside track on what it's like being a community teacher for Imperial College. To read more articles like this, please sign up to our newsletter by emailing

Dana, tell me what first got you interested in homeless medicine? "Incredibly I was inspired by the same module I did as a student at Imperial College that I am now teaching on! Back then it was 'medical and social care of the homeless' and was based at the surgery for the homeless in Great Chapel Street - a fabulous service that showed me that primary care tailored to this vulnerable and challenging group existed and I promised myself there and then that I would return to work in this field."

What makes you so enthusiastic about this work? "I find this line of work a breath of fresh air; at times incredibly challenging …

GP Careers Conference

On Wednesday 7 September, the keynote speaker at the NW London GP Careers day was Dr Tracey Batten, Chief Executive of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The event was organised jointly by Imperial College, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Hammersmith & Fulham GP Federation, and Health Education NW England. The conference provides an opportunity to learn about career opportunities in primary care in NW London. Dr Batten spoke about plans for the future of the NHS in NW London; and the need for strong collaborative working between different sectors of the NHS. Other speakers from the Department of Primary Care and Public Health included Dr Samia Hassan, Dr David Mummery, Dr Martin Block, Dr Nigel de Kare-Silver, Dr Ravi Parekh, Dr Maham Stanyon, Dr Jens Foel, and medical student Ms Bassit Malik. The presentations from the meeting can be viewed on the Imperial College website.