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East Lancashire Hospitals and UCLan Host First Joint Medical Careers event for schools and colleges

22 June 2015

Chris Theobald

Pupils learn about life as a medical student

Forty students came from schools and colleges far and wide to learn about life as a medical student at the first Medical Taster event organised by the School of Medicine at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT).

Attending the three-day event were Year 12 students studying at a mix of the region’s leading state and independent schools, as well as 15 first-year international students visiting from Cardiff Sixth Form College.

Day one took place within UCLan’s School of Medicine at its Preston Campus where students were given the opportunity to learn and practice some of the key medical skills including how to perform a physical examination and Basic Life Support, take blood pressure and measure temperature. After lunch the students took time to consider and debate a few of the many ethical dilemmas which face medical staff.

UCLan’s Professor Cathy Jackson, Associate Dean of Medicine and Head of Medical Education at the University, said: “As part of our commitment to enrich the local health economy, we were delighted to team up with the Royal Blackburn Hospital, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for this taster course which we hope will be the first of many."

“A medical career can be hugely rewarding and we wanted to show those attending the programme what it’s really like and for them to gain an insight into the key practical and communication skills essential for a career within medicine.”

“A medical career can be hugely rewarding and we wanted to show those attending the programme what it’s really like and for them to gain an insight into the key practical and communication skills essential for a career within medicine.”

During a busy day two at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, the students followed a patient journey by visiting different departments to find out how they contribute to patient care, met and talked to patients on a ward and discussed what life is like in a busy NHS hospital with several ELHT doctors.

“I sincerely hope that we helped the students discover more about the diverse range of careers within medicine, as well as seeing things from the patient’s perspective and finding out more about the personal qualities which make a good doctor,” said Head of Phase2, UCLan School of Medicine, Dr Jenny MacDowall.

“We’re delighted with the success of our first joint Medical Taster event and look forward to taking our partnership with East Lancashire Hospitals to a new level when our undergraduate medical programme starts in September.”

“We’re delighted with the success of our first joint Medical Taster event and look forward to taking our partnership with East Lancashire Hospitals to a new level when our undergraduate medical programme starts in September.”

The third and final day saw students return to the UCLan School of Medicine where they gained valuable insights into the selection process for medical school, took part in interactive communication skills workshops and had the opportunity to practice their medical skills on volunteer patients.

“In collaboration with ELHT we are very excited at the prospect of our new undergraduate medical programme (MBBS) commencing in September,” added UCLan’s Professor Jackson.

“We aim to improve local NHS services both by attracting the best international medical students to study in East Lancs and Preston and hopefully to return and work in the area, and also by providing additional opportunities for existing NHS staff in the area to further develop their careers.”

Local schools and colleges participating in the Medical Taster event included Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Nelson & Colne College, St Wilfrid’s Academy, St Mary’s College, St Christopher’s Sixth Form College, Runshaw College, Cardinal Newman College and Ermysted’s Grammar School, Skipton.