Congratulations to Daniel Purchase on achieving Highly Commended in the 2019 Zeshan Qureshi Award for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education.
I have shown great dedication and commitment towards developing myself as a medical educator over the last 6 years. Putting myself out there, and receiving regular feedback from my students and peers, has taught me a lot. I have seized opportunities to help educate others in a variety of different roles. I believe continued experience in education is vital for the current generation of medical professionals, as we strive to keep pace with scientific research, technological advances and their novel applications to medicine.
As a medical student, I was fortunate enough to receive high quality, interactive teaching, from enthusiastic tutors with an obvious passion for teaching. However, certain lectures, tutorials and seminars left me feeling confused, frustrated, and disappointed. I have drawn on all of these experiences to inspire my continued involvement in medical education.
During the 4th Year of my undergraduate I submitted an application to run a new Student Selected Component (SSC) for 1st Year Medical Students; the idea being to fill a gap in the pre-clinical curriculum. In addition, this would help aspiring tutors by assisting them in facilitating small group teaching for students on core examination skills, and subsequently assessing the students examining patients on the wards. Although initial meetings with the SSC lead appeared very encouraging, the educational committee eventually decided against expanding the number of SSCs. This was rather disheartening as I had already begun the recruitment of potential tutors. Nevertheless, upon reflection I would not change this experience, as following on from this I started delivering revision lectures for a number of the younger students within the university rugby club. In addition, I co-ordinated other students to deliver lectures. This developed into an annual event during my time at medical school.
In 5th Year I met Mehrshad, a ward volunteer. Mehrshad told me he was an aspiring medical student who was struggling with the university application process and he did not know anybody from a medical background to ask for advice. I offered my expertise to help guide him through the process, exams and interview. I have kept in regular contact with him ever since and I am proud to say he is currently studying for his Foundation Year on the Extended Medical Degree Programme at King’s College. Helping Mehrshad has taught me the importance of taking a person-centred approach to education, that takes into account an individual’s needs beyond facts and figures.
I have also written over 50 original single best answer questions on Paediatrics and Paediatric Surgery for Quesmed. This is an evidence based online tuition programme for medical students and professionals. This opportunity presented a different set of challenges compared to my other experiences which have all involved interacting with people directly. This is because I was writing the questions to a strict format and had to learn how to code; something which was completely alien to me.
Whilst on my elective module in Peru, I was invited to address the medical faculty during the weekly Grand Round on ‘Pneumonia and Atypical Organisms’. Besides this, I decided to dedicate some time to present evidence against the use of Metamizole in children due to a significant risk of agranulocytosis. This was a sensitive and controversial topic to broach as Metamizole is routinely used in Peru to treat fevers. Nonetheless, I was relieved to hear afterwards, from some of the doctors and nurses who attended, that they would stick to just paracetamol in their future practice. This was a personal highlight for me as it took a lot of courage to speak out when my opinion went completely against standard practice.
Since starting FY1 in Hull, my involvement in medical education has blossomed. I undertake weekly one-to-one bedside teaching with a final year student to help them to prepare for their upcoming final year exams as part of the Feedback Oriented Observed Teaching (FOOT) scheme. I generally encourage students to practice the clinical examinations that they feel least confident with and we search for patients with signs across the hospital. I also ask students to prepare a 5-10 minute presentation on a common condition to present to me at the beginning of each session. I have seen first hand how this has helped the students grow in confidence when presenting under pressure.
I have also established a new revision lecture series for clinical students in Hull & York Medical School (HYMS) covering the core medical specialties and surgery. After an initial discussion with one of the teaching fellows, he expressed concerns that attendance would be poor amongst the final year students based on previously run sessions. Thus, I contacted the students both via email and in person; liaising with my previous students from the FOOT scheme to advertise the sessions, and we arranged a time and location which suited the majority. Attendance has improved significantly over the initial sessions (up to 20 students) and I am hoping for a continuous improvement going forward. Accessibility is another important obstacle which I have learnt must be considered in order to optimise student engagement. Similarly, HYMS students are spread out in relatively small groups across much of Yorkshire, so we are currently coordinating with the other hospital sites to use a video link in order for lectures to be remotely accessible.
In the future, I will attend the HYMS Clinical Tutor Training Day, complete the Training the Trainer Course, gain an Advanced Life Support Instructor qualification, and complete a Postgraduate Masters in Medical Education. I believe all of these will enable me to continue providing relevant and effective teaching.