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Newsletter bulletin

UCLMS newsletter: April 2013

You may not have noticed thanks to the weather but Spring is here! As Tolstoy observed “Spring is the time of plans and projects” and that is certainly true at UCLMS. Highlights in this bulletin include:

The new MBBS Curriculum is running well, and is into its final term of its first academic year. To reflect on the progress so far, Professor Jane Dacre and Dr Deborah Gill hosted a review day, held at the Whittington Education Centre for all the curriculum leads. They went through all years, and also the new vertical modules.  The workshop was extremely constructive, and came up with a list of actions to make sure we stay on track. Most of the changes are embedding really well, but areas for improvement have been highlighted. Of course, curriculum review is a never ending process, so we will keep polishing, and keep you all informed along the way.

Plans are well underway for the upgrades to UCLMS facilities at all three central sites. Work will begin on new teaching and learning spaces, including innovative library and computer facilities as well as social spaces, in the summer. All three Hubs will have a strong medical school identity and will support the new MBBS curriculum. We can’t wait to see the results!

The final report of our recent GMC Quality Assurance of Medical Education report will be up on the GMC website any day. It is a very positive report in spite of it happening just after the launch of the new MBBS, before we had sorted out some of the teething problems. Interestingly, in the wake of Mid Staffs, there was a keen focus by the GMC on patient safety, and on ensuring good communication with our stakeholders on patient safety issues. Our new “raising concerns” website is a very good start, but there is more work to be done. The full report also highlights several areas of commendation, of which we can all be proud.

Everyone at UCLMS is excited by several recent funding application successes. Deborah Gill and Jayne Kavanagh have both been successful in bids for the SLMS Education Innovation Fund, so look out for students carrying mobile devices around the wards as part of an exciting mobile learning project, and the use of narrative frameworks and storytelling in ethics education. Laura-Jane Smith has received a Teaching Innovation Grant to launch #quclms, a Twitter-based educational intervention to encourage discussion, debate, critical thinking and use of evidence. Read more about the project and the launch event on 17th April, and get involved. Deanne Attreed was successful in her application to the Erasmus Staff Mobility Fund and will be visiting Lithuania in April to compare best practices and learn from other institutions. We look forward to hearing about how UCLMS compares to Vilnius University! 

Many of you were involved in NHS Change Day at UCLMS, which was a fantastic success. Mandana Shoa, fifth year student, gives an insight into how students led the plans, what happened on the day and what it meant to students. We hope to share the video made by PALS students soon, where students and healthcare professionals give valuable insights into what ‘patient-centredness’ and ‘quality’ mean to them.

As always we hope to see many of you at some of the upcoming social and academic events. Recently a number of staff indulged in aromatherapy, facemasks and cake, thanks to Jelena Baburina creating a mini-spa in Huntley Street. We look forward to more de-stressing sessions in the coming months. For something more physically challenging why not join Jeannine Attreed in the Race for Life in June when the team will be running or walking 10K in aid of Cancer Research?

For an intellectual work-out, join us on 25th April when Scott Rice will be speaking at the UCLMS Seminar on “Practicing professionalism in an age of digital social networking: exploring the digital divide” which will be of great relevance as we launch #quclms and our mobile learning project. The UCL Medical Education Conference on June 12th, and the UCL TiME Conference on June 11th are not far away. Booking tickets to both events will earn you a discount so put the dates in the diary and start thinking about  the theme “Transitions in medical education.” If you can’t wait that long, why not join us at the CALT Conference, “Embedding skills and employability in the curriculum” where many UCLMS fellows will be presenting.

For an event with a difference why not join Clinical Teaching Fellow Laura-Jane Smith who will be co-hosting “An Evening with Death” with UK Slam Poetry Champion Hollie McNish at 7pm on 16th May in the Printworks Cafe, UCL. It is part of Dying Matters Awareness Week and has been kindly funded by the SLMS Public Engagement Unit. The event is free but booking is essential. The aim is to compare perceptions of death through the eyes of doctors and poets, and think about what we can learn from each other to make “living and dying well the norm.”

Our newest member of the UCLMS family is Clare Wadlow, who has joined the GMC project as a Clinical Teaching Fellow. Many of you will have met her already but you can learn more about her in her profile. There will be more job openings for teaching fellows at UCLMS later in the year, advertised as always in BMJ Careers. If you know someone who is interested in medical education and is looking for a new challenge, perhaps they would like to go further afield than North London, and be a Fellow at Ningbo University in China. Read more about this international Fellowship opportunity and get in touch for further information. Good luck to all students and staff working hard to prepare for exams this term. Hopefully by the time the next newsletter bulletin is published all our projects will be in full bloom, along with the daffodils!  

Are you leading a new venture at UCL Medical School? Do you have something to publicise or celebrate? Would you like to give people an insight into your role? We are looking for contributors to the UCLMS newsletter. Please contact Deanne for details.

Dr Laura-Jane Smith, Clinical Teaching Fellow,UCLMS

Dr Deborah Gill and Dr Ann Griffin, Deputy Directors, UCLMS

Professor Jane Dacre, Director, UCLMS



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