Summary:

News article from rural Scotland. NHS Highland has extended its scheme to give school pupils experience of medicine to now include general practice.

Article:

Pupils taking part in this year’s ‘Doctors at Work’ programme have experienced for the first time what it is like to work as a General Practitioner (GP).
The ‘Doctors at Work’ programme, which has been running in NHS Highland for seven years, is a five day placement for secondary pupils in Highland who are interested in studying medicine.
Dr Shona McClure, a GP at Culloden and a GP Teaching Fellow with NHS Highland, said pupils are given the opportunity to observe the work done by doctors across a range of specialties in a variety of medical and surgical disciplines.
However, until this year the programme did not include any experience of general practice.
She said: “It can be difficult for pupils to arrange to shadow a GP at work for a variety of reasons, including patient confidentiality issues, especially for those pupils living in remote and rural locations.
“This year, building on the already successful programme, NHS Highland’s Medical Education GP team introduced a session entitled ‘what is a GP?’ which gave pupils a chance to observe simulated GP consultations followed by interactive discussions about the skills they observed.
“They also had the opportunity to talk to GPs about their careers.”
She added: “They were also able to try out some practical tasks such as taking blood pressure and peak flow readings and to appreciate how much GPs rely on their diagnostic skills with a minimum of equipment.”
Feedback from the pupils taking part in this new session was extremely positive with the majority reporting an increase in their confidence in their knowledge of the role of a GP after the session.
Dr Yvonne Wedekind, regional tutor and GP teaching fellow with the Highland Medical Education Centre, added: “The participants should now have a better knowledge of the role of a GP and an understanding of a broader perspective of healthcare which will be beneficial to them in the application and interview process for medical school, as well as better informing them of the whole spectrum of career choices as a doctor.
“Given that predictions are that we need 50% of our future graduates to become GPs, the enthusiasm with which the pupils met the workshop is very encouraging.
“It would be fantastic to think that some of them will be choosing to embark on GP training in Highland in six years time.”The ‘Doctors at Work’ programme, which has been running in NHS Highland for seven years, is a five day placement for secondary pupils in Highland who are interested in studying medicine.
Dr Shona McClure, a GP at Culloden and a GP Teaching Fellow with NHS Highland, said pupils are given the opportunity to observe the work done by doctors across a range of specialties in a variety of medical and surgical disciplines.
However, until this year the programme did not include any experience of general practice.
She said: “It can be difficult for pupils to arrange to shadow a GP at work for a variety of reasons, including patient confidentiality issues, especially for those pupils living in remote and rural locations.
“This year, building on the already successful programme, NHS Highland’s Medical Education GP team introduced a session entitled ‘what is a GP?’ which gave pupils a chance to observe simulated GP consultations followed by interactive discussions about the skills they observed.
“They also had the opportunity to talk to GPs about their careers.”
She added: “They were also able to try out some practical tasks such as taking blood pressure and peak flow readings and to appreciate how much GPs rely on their diagnostic skills with a minimum of equipment.”
Feedback from the pupils taking part in this new session was extremely positive with the majority reporting an increase in their confidence in their knowledge of the role of a GP after the session.
Dr Yvonne Wedekind, regional tutor and GP teaching fellow with the Highland Medical Education Centre, added: “The participants should now have a better knowledge of the role of a GP and an understanding of a broader perspective of healthcare which will be beneficial to them in the application and interview process for medical school, as well as better informing them of the whole spectrum of career choices as a doctor.
“Given that predictions are that we need 50% of our future graduates to become GPs, the enthusiasm with which the pupils met the workshop is very encouraging.
“It would be fantastic to think that some of them will be choosing to embark on GP training in Highland in six years time.”

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