It’s been a busy year on the Y4-6 education scene. My year kicked off by working with staff on attendance and engagement policy and (unsuccessfully) trying to extend the summer break for 5th year students. And the momentum has remained high throughout the year. I’ve certainly spent more time in Meeting Room 1 than on some placements this year. Below are just some of the headlines from the academic representation side of Y4-6 life during my dive into the wonderful medical school rabbit hole.
Assessments have been a key focus of my work this year. The biggest changes to come through were surrounding OSCE feedback. After this work, students should hopefully receive higher quality of quantitative and written feedback. It was three years ago when I wrote about the reception of first pilot OSCEs for Y1&2s, and its debrief afterwards. Its utility struck a chord with the cohort, as similar debriefs will now take place following Y4-6 summative OSCEs. A re-evaluation of student perception of feedback will take place next year to assess the impact of this work. In addition to this, steps have been taken to better communicate information about summatives to forth years and to improve formative questions.
A key development has been the introduction of Outlook Calendars as a timetabling modality for clinical placements. With 1/3 of Y4&5 surveyed, timetabling was cited to be amongst the top 3 issues for almost 90%. These have overall been received very positively and we’ve found 95% of students would like to see them rolled out across all clinical placements in Y4/5. They are a welcome addition given that many students spend time manually copying out their timetable to their personal digital calendars. It also allows for standardisation of timetable presentation as well as making it easier to spot clashes as it only takes seconds to amalgamate multiple schedules.
Study spaces continue to be a hot topic. In some ways the Cruciform Hub has been a victim of its success. Most ‘complaints’ I’ve received have been primarily due to it being filled to capacity. Demands for spaces like the Hub are increasing. The 24/7 opening was highly welcomed by the students, and the laptop loans have been a great success too. I expect we’ll be seeing similar requests for increased out-of-hours access at our peripheral sites in the near future. A special thank you to Kate Cheney for, as always, working so closely with RUMS throughout this year.
It has been a really positive year for student engagement. Year 5 enjoyed its largest and most successful ‘Question Time Forums’ this year with around 130 students in attendance. We found that integrating it as part of the timetabled day helped increase student turnout and participation. The two-way dialogue between the faculty and students allowed for both sides to develop learning points. In addition to this, the SSCCs as always have provided a fantastic format for students and staff to engage and many issues from information on DGH provision to further improving the highly popular case of the month have been products of the meetings.
I stumbled upon a fascinating find recently – the online archive of the internet. Seeing the archived snapshots of the Medical School’s website over the years provides some glimpses into the past. It was quite interesting to see how the course has changed over the 16 years, with a new curriculum being launched every ~6-8 years. It’s curious to see to CPP in its previous iterations, going from VM to PDS to VM to CPP. Also judging by the archive, it appears some staff have been present throughout all of these transitions!
I would like to thank all the faculty for being collaborative and engaging.
In particular I’d like to thank Dr Sturrock, Dr Bennett, Gaynor Jones, Prof Gill, Dr Cartledge and Ms Whitten for tolerating my bombardment of emails across the year. Finally, I’d like to say a special thank you to lots of the staff I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting this year, primarily those in medical school administration who face the mammoth task of constantly organising a high volume of students and being both staff- and student-facing the whole time. It constantly leaves me in awe of all that’s achieved by the team.
On behalf of all the students I pass on my thanks and wish you all a restful summer!
Ravi Mistry, RUMS Vice-President: Education Y4-6