Well done to Eleanor on being a runner-up in the  ‘Zeshan Qureshi Award for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education’.


Medical Education - Eleanor Crossley

Eleanor Crossley is an academic Foundation Year 2 doctor, currently working for the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. Eleanor’s dedication and innovations to optimise the educational experiences of medical students seem never-ending! Her contributions have hugely benefitted students at the Brighton and Sussex medical school but also nationally. Eleanor’s own thoughts on her work beautifully summarise the extent of the impact she has made: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement in various aspects of medical education from teaching students directly, designing online resources and teaching programmes, to curriculum development.


A lasting legacy at Birmingham…

During medical school I was heavily involved in medical education.

“One highlight was my work as a founder of the Birmingham Medical Leadership and Management Society.”

…Organising free lectures: As the secretary and a sub-committee leader I organized free evening lectures by sourcing expert local speakers to inspire students, which received excellent feedback.

…Influencing the curriculum: We also introduced a lecture into the final year curriculum on healthcare management and leadership – the first of its kind at Birmingham.

…And a whole new degree! Together with the rest of the committee, I worked with the University of Birmingham to co-establish a Healthcare Management and Leadership intercalated BMedSc at the University of Birmingham (which now has its second cohort).

As a student Eleanor’s impact became national…

I volunteered at events for the College of Medicine, a national organisation dedicated to multi-disciplinary education.

“After attending their very first student conference on obesity I became passionate about learning alongside other health and social care students and the unique nature of these conferences”

– their annual student conference was the only multidisciplinary student conference for many years.

As a Student Lead I helped (unpaid) to organise three annual national student conferences for 60-85 students on the topics of dementia, healthy ageing and self-care.

..And then international!

Whilst on my elective I also helped to facilitate the Liverpool-Mulago Foundation’s Emergency Obstetric Skills course in Kampala, Uganda. As such I organised this hands-on course and taught qualified and student doctors, midwives and nurses in small group sessions.

That’s an impressive list of achievements for a medical student! So what is Eleanor doing now as a foundation doctor?…

“Since starting at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) I have immersed myself in the opportunities to contribute to existing teaching programmes and introduce new methods of medical education for both undergraduates and postgraduates.”

From formal Teaching:… As well as informal teaching on the wards I have taught on three formalized Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) teaching programmes:

  1. BSMS Foundation Teaching for Final Years (dermatology, endocrinology, urology);
  2. Fast Finals (to 84 final year students) – I am also organising this programme this year;
  3. BSMS OSCE sessions (to a small group of 3rd year students).

To practical simulations:… After undertaking a Simulation Facilitator Course in my free time, I designed and organised an in-situ simulation for the whole multi-disciplinary team in paediatric A&E, bringing a simulation child in with an airway emergency. This simulation’s debriefing facilitated learning points for the whole multi-disciplinary team including the student doctors and nurses on placement and also identified some opportunities to improve the service. I presented these learning points at the 2016 International Paediatric Simulation Society conference.

And ensuring she is the best teacher she can possibly be:… I attended the BSMS Teacher Support Course and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Train the Trainer course to improve my knowledge of teaching techniques and help me reflect on my teaching styles and programme design.

Eleanor is fighting to fill the gaps she sees in medical teaching…

…Implementing near-peer teaching: Whilst 4th year medical students received excellent teaching from the ENT lead consultant I noticed that these students received no teaching from more junior staff during their ENT block.

“I therefore introduced and delivered an ENT near-peer teaching programme, entitled ‘ENT for the junior doctor’, which I designed in line with the medical school learning outcomes.”

This programme of 3 one hour sessions for every 4th year medical student was integrated into their formal ENT timetables and has received excellent feedback. I presented its outcomes at the national 6th Trainees in Medical Education conference.

…Developing a new Student Selected Component: I recognised that second year medical students had no surgical Student Selected Components (SSCs) so I introduced and delivered an 8-week ‘Surgical Head and Neck’ SSC for 16 second year medical students. It gained extremely positive overall formal feedback from the medical school and I am currently teaching this SSC’s second cohort.

..Teaching Human Factors Workshops: I reviewed the full-day workshops already delivered at BSUH by undertaking over 40 telephone interviews which enabled me to assess what lessons people took into their clinical practice and develop shorter, more accessible workshops. I am writing up these findings to design targeted sessions with the workshop lead and possibly for publication.

“I also designed and directed the making of an ‘Introduction to Human Factors’ video which will shortly be hosted on our Trust’s website and elearning platform. We hope this module will go onto the national e-learning for healthcare platform for students and qualified staff to use.”

I am also delivering 1-hour Human Factors teaching sessions to students and foundation year doctors, and I am currently writing chapters for a Human Factors textbook for healthcare students and staff.

And so the list goes on… it’s pretty incredible!

..Helping stressed students through national exams with a revision course to help prepare BSMS students for the Duke Elder ophthalmology exam.

…Surgical Training: I worked with an ENT consultant to organise a two-day hands-on temporal bone drilling course for core surgical trainees and ENT registrars across the UK.

…Helping peers in: welfare and education in my role as the Academic Foundation Trainee Representative, research skills as the Academic Journal Club Lead; and their service improvement projects as the Innovation Forum Lead at BSUH.

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