One of the most memorable medical education initiatives that I took home from the AMEE (Association of Medical Education Europe) conference this year was the importance of the patient role in teaching medical students. I attended two talks which outlined formal patient/teaching partnerships and was impressed that such formal groups have been brought together to participate in student teaching on a regular and structured basis across different specialties in the undergraduate degree programme.
Most notable were two initiatives, the first run by the University of Sheffield, Patients as Educators Programme https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/aume/pae_dept where an established (large) group of patients act as regular educators across the degree course, concentrating on the teaching of history taking, physical examination and clinical assessment.
Equally impressive was the University of British Columbia’s ‘Patient and Community Partnership for Education’ https://pcpe.health.ubc.ca/welcome a formal organisation aiming to increase and improve patient participation in education through patient/student mentoring, interactive workshops, and community based research projects (amongst other things).
So what can we learn from these and how can we embed patient centric teaching into our GP undergraduate courses at Imperial?
You could argue that we already do this well in General Practice as our students are based in the community and are actively encouraged to independently consult with patients as part of several of our attachments, including following patients with long term conditions in our Year 3 and Year 5 courses.
But could we widen our patient participation and found a formal patient partnership group to use in teaching? How could we do this and would it improve the student experience and improve outcomes for both patients and students? What would be your thoughts as a GP teacher?
If you would like to share your thoughts on this please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org