Trainees lead scheme to promote GP careers to sixth-formers

GP trainees are leading a pioneering scheme to promote careers in general practice to sixth-form students.

Dr James Pearson: GP work experience scheme for sixth formers
Dr James Pearson: GP work experience scheme for sixth formers

The scheme’s organisers aim to raise awareness of general practice among potential medical students and allow GP trainees an insight into teaching roles.

Bath ST3 trainee Dr James Pearson and Bristol ST3 trainee Dr Emily Howse contacted state schools in their area offering sixth-form pupils a chance to gain work experience in general practice.

Pupils were chosen based on grades, supporting statements from teachers and personal statements. Of more than 50 applicants, 32 were chosen.

Role of general practice

Dr Pearson and Dr Howse ran a one-day course for the group of sixth-formers. ‘We focused on medical school applications, talks from Bristol University, group work on views of general practice, the role of GPs, expectations of work experience, roles of the multi-disciplinary team etc,’ Dr Pearson told GPonline.

‘Also we taught them on confidentiality using case scenarios and videos as well as addressing expectations and logistics of work experience.Dr Emily Howse

‘Then we were able to offer these students a GP trainee supervisor to make contact with and liaise and arrange their placement in that surgery.’

Placements in surgeries were made outside the area where the sixth-former lives, is a patient or goes to school to avoid any confidentiality issues.

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Dr Pearson said it was vital that potential medical students were offered a chance to experience primary care.

‘At the moment most get experience in secondary care and do not really have the opportunity to see the benefits of a career in primary care,’ he said. ‘No wonder when at medical school, all you want to do is a secondary care job.

He added that allowing GP trainees to supervise the placements helped shape the ‘clinical/educational supervisors of the future, and meant the scheme put much less pressure on busy practices that took part.

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