We're been celebrating 10 years of suppporting learning and teaching in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine in UK HE.
The Higher Education Academy has been collating ten major successes from each Subject Centre from the last ten years of operation: potentially 240 brief case studies of clear change and impact in the sector. Below are the ten we submitted as a summary of our work illustrating how discipline focused work has had a real and lasting impact.
Send your 250 word reflections to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration of publication in a future issue of the Subject Centre newsletter, 01, during 2010.
1. MEDEV works with colleagues in the Academy, subject associations such as ASME, AMEE, ADEE, AVTRW to raise standards of teaching in our disciplines in the UK. Our work in this area is our showcase. We have run over 150 workshops for 10,000+ staff in our workshop programme covering topics on every subject from career development to managing difficult clinical teaching situations. Highly successful have been the workshops on ‘Standards Setting’ and ‘External Examining’ which inevitably score a perfect 5/5 as excellent in both immediate and follow-up evaluation.
2. MEDEV staff are accreditors for the Higher Education Academy and the Academy of Medical Educators; mentor staff; review for NTF and AoME Fellowships; and have worked with the Academy recognition team to accredit some of the rapidly increasing number of Certificate, Diploma and Masters level programmes in Clinical Education.
3. Dr Sarah Bailie who has been affiliated with MEDEV since 2003 (then LTSN-01) when she took over a miniproject awarded to Dominic Mellor (http://www.medev.ac.uk/resources/funded_projects/show_project?reference_number=356) was named the THE Teacher of the Year in 2009
4. Through support for FDTL (e.g. Managed Environments for Portfolio-based Reflective Learning Integrated Support for Evidencing Outcomes + transferability funded in 2002) and JISC (e.g. IAMSECT 2004, EPICS 2004, ePET 2003 and EPICS2 2005) projects (in which we were a key partner http://www.eportfolios.ac.uk/ and http://iamsect.ncl.ac.uk/), a miniproject (in 2002), sessions in each of our Breaking Boundaries conferences in 2003 and 2005 and an ePortfolios conference (as part of EPICS) in 2008 MEDEV has systematically promulgated the uptake of ePortfolios in our sector. All schools now support student learning with ePortfolios, and they are begin developed into new tools such as Dynamic Learning Maps (2009).
5. In 2002 MEDEV funded two mini-projects in the area of support for students with disability (“Students with disabilities: A comparison of admissions Systems” and “Disabled students - disabled doctors – time for a change?”). At that time the debate around whether and how physical or mental disability affected students entering higher education leading towards professions registration with the relevant statutory body in health was starting to hot up. A case in which a wheelchair user (who was favourably considered by a UK University) unsuccessfully sued the GMC for discriminating against their application for admission to medical school. The issue hinged on the need for the student to successfully achieve ALL of the outcomes laid down by the GMC to meet the standard for professional registration, and it was considered that the physical disability would preclude passing all aspects of the course. The University was precluded from making an offer to a student who had no reasonable expectation of being able to register with the professional body at the end.
At the same time already-registered practitioners with health issues could continue to practice providing that the safety of the public was not compromised. Despite the legal ruling, it was clear that there was an inconsistency in procedure.
MEDEV worked with both funded projects in order to investigate the background issues, and the results were published in separate reports (http://www.medev.ac.uk/ltsn_images/pdfs/ptbo_final.pdf and http://www.medev.ac.uk/docs/roberts_final.pdf).
In the first project a consultant reviewed disability-related admissions information on all of the education providers websites (followed up with a ‘sequel’ in 2003); in the second a series of focus groups and questionnaires were administered to staff, students and patients to document views on physical and mental health issues. Publication of this work raised the profile with the professional bodies who later successfully carried out work for the then DIUS on the ‘gateways to the professions’. Both subject centre staff and the two mini-project holders were heavily involved in this review, and went on to membership of national committees (e.g. BMA/RCP working group on ) advising government on equality and inclusion. The Gateways to the Professions reports (http://www.dius.gov.uk/Policies/higher-education/widening-participation/access-to-professions/gateways-to-professions (2005) and http://www.rcvs.org.uk/shared_asp_files/uploadedfiles/8a0a3fd9-e906-42ac-ac79-077276628ee8_rcvsfinalreport_443.pdf (2006)) and a round of DIUS-funded projects (supported by MEDEV) to test the recommendations and embed them in practice resolved the inconsistencies, leading to wider access for all students into the healthcare professions e.g. http://www.skill.org.uk/page.aspx?c=162&p=264.
While MEDEV (then LTSN-01) makes no claim to having resolved these issues our early advocacy for a difficult subject, working with the sector and consistent support for this area was praised by the professional bodies and led to permanent change in practice.
6. In 2004 MEDEV awarded a £3,000 mini-project “Embracing Interprofessionalism by Integrating Clinical Skills and Multimedia” to Charavanan Balasubramaniam at St. George's, University of London (SGUL). The resulting clinical skills videos have been uploaded into YouTube, MedEdPortal and Jorum where they are accessed by hundreds of thousands every year. Jorum still uses them to illustrate its service. Chara won best poster for this work at the Association of Medical Education in Europe annual conference (routinely attracting over 3000 participants) in 2005. In 2005 his colleague Terry Poulton was invited by MEDEV to participate in a ‘virtual patients’ workshop that they were running for the IMS after which SGUL set up a collaboration with Medbiquitous US. They successfully applied (with MEDEV support) for JISC funds for repurposing some of their clinical skills videos (REHASH and eVIP projects ). MEDEV staff were on the Advisory Board. In 2006 they were awarded a European eContent project ‘ReViP’ ) from which they established MedBiquitous Europe. In total SGUL has secured over 2.5M in JISC and EU funding alone, and is a sought after partner in any international eLearning project. SGUL and MEDEV are organising the 2nd annual Medbiquitous conference in London in April 2010. Staff have been promoted and SGUL international reputation has been enhanced.
7. In 2002 MEDEV (then LTSN-01) hosted a bid-planning meeting for those able to bid for FDTL4 funding. One of the projects which emerged (supported by MEDEV staff who were involved from inception to-date) was a collaboration to establish sharing high quality assessment practices and questions. High quality assessment means that only students who are safe to practice graduate onto the provisional professional register and are able to care for and treat patients.
This project was led by Paul O’Neil at University of Manchester, The successful project (5 partners) was supported by MEDEV who worked with Manchester on appointments, plans, processes, technology, expanded to 16 schools and went self-funding in 2008 follow additional grants from FDTL4 transferability and JISC UK-CDR project (which MEDEV staff co-wrote and assisted with implementing).
In 2010 the Medical Schools Council announced that all medical schools would be required to participate in UMAP which would be renamed and expanded to accommodate the larger consortium. Paul became Head of Manchester Medical School in 2006 and has been asked to chair the MSC committee on Selection into the Foundation Programme. Ged Byrne was awarded NTF status in 2009.
8. In 2006 MEDEV staff worked with Edinburgh and RVC veterinary schools to establish a wiki to support veterinary pathology teaching (http://www.medev.ac.uk/resources/funded_projects/show_mini_project?reference_number=514). Sharing educational resources in a wiki (http://www.wikivet.net/) allowed the relatively few teachers in the UK to pool resources. In 2007 they were awarded a small JISC grant (20K) to expand their process for harnessing students as authors of content (with staff/peer review to assure quality) to more UK partners. Now Wikivet has attracted an annual grant of 50K per year for 3 years from a pharmaceutical company to cover the entire veterinary curriculum and has over 6,000 users world wide. It was written up and published in an academic journal http://www.inderscience.com/browse/index.php?journalID=50&year=2010&vol=6&issue=2 (March 2010).
9. In 2006 MEDEV supported a group of staff to develop a ‘driving licence’ to help students who were entering their placement final year in veterinary medicine (http://www.medev.ac.uk/resources/funded_projects/show_mini_project?reference_number=435 ). The professional body (the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) have adopted it by recommending it to all veterinary schools and a national chain of veterinary practices insist students must complete the licence before they undertake placements within their practices.
10. The UK Council for Communication Skills was established in 2003 by Dr Jonathan Silverman, Cambridge University, with financial and other support from then-LTSN-01 (http://www.medev.ac.uk/resources/funded_projects/show_mini_project?reference_number=66). They were awarded several small grants (to support the community of practice). Nowadays they have an active independent membership organisation which is sponsored by and represents all medical schools. The UK Council has permanently changed how communication skills (such as ‘breaking bad news’, ethical dilemmas, etc.) is taught. MEDEV also worked closely with veterinary schools who have surprisingly similar communication skills needs (http://www.medev.ac.uk/community/ukcouncil).