Hello everyone! I hope that you’re all now enjoying your well-deserved Easter holidays! Although I know that it might be hard to enjoy it if you’ve got to spend the next three weeks revising! (This is how I’m currently spending my time!). I’ve actually been pretty lucky in the fact that I’ve just finished reading week, meaning that I’ve been enjoying the comforts of being home since last Wednesday (aka dinners being cooked for me and heating).
But for those of you who know me well enough (and know keen I can be). I actually headed back to university just for the day to attend the medical school’s 5th Annual Curriculum Conference, at the Heath Park Campus last Friday. The conference included delegates from across Wales and included clinicians, academics, managers and medical students, with expert speakers and workshops addressing topical themes including:
- Selecting for Excellence
- Assessment and Student Experience
- Staff Development
- Academy of Medical Educators
- The next step for C21’s Phase 2: Learning to Care
The conference began with a warm welcome from Professor Nick Topley, the Dean of Medical Education at Cardiff University and talks from a number of guests. These included Dr Chris Jones CBE, the current chairman of the Cwm Taf University Health Board (and Cardiff Medical School Graduate!) and Dr Ruth Hussey OBE, the Chief Medical Officer at the Welsh Assembly Government. Guest speakers also came from further afield, with Professor Val Wass OBE visiting us from the University of Keele’s Medical School, to talk about her valuable experiences in the field of Medical Education.
The conference provided us all with the opportunity to see and appreciate the successes that the medical school has had over the past year in terms of medical education. These successes however were not just limited to Cardiff, but in fact they travelled as far as North Wales. In February of this year, a group of healthcare students from Cardiff headed up to Wrexham and Bangor to engage with pupils who have an interest in studying a healthcare course at university, and advise them in their decisions. The students helped to assist in mock interviews, gave personal statement guidance and discussed what it was like to be a medical student with the school pupils.
Although Cardiff’s new C21 curriculum has been running for almost two years now, it was still the hot topic of conversation at this year’s conference. Dr Thanasi Hassoulas, one of the case writers of the year 2 mental health case described how C21’s novel approach to teaching preclinical students was greatly improving students’ interest in certain aspects of medicine. With almost 80% of the year group feeding back after the case that they would consider a future career in psychiatry.
Following a break for lunch and a chance to browse the poster submissions for the conference, delegates were then given the opportunity to attend an afternoon workshop on topics ranging from the second phase of the C21 curriculum and OSCE exam training to discussing how medical students can get involved in research. I actually chose to attend the workshop ‘Using our Unique Welsh Assets to Enhance the C21 Curriculum.’ Where with some senior members of the medical school we discussed the special and unique opportunities by a curriculum that is geographically grounded in Wales and explore the added value this brings. It was such a great opportunity for me to get to know some of the writers for the cases that I have done this year, as well as to meet some of the senior staff at the medical school.
The conference came to a close with the poster prizes from the exhibition. A huge congratulations to everyone who one prizes for their work. Especially to MedSoc President Amy Butlin, who somehow managed to give an assessed presentation for her intercalation, help coordinate the event and take home best student poster at the conference all on the same day!
Well I hope that you all have a lovely Easter holiday whether you have decided to stay in Cardiff or if you’ve headed back home, and that revision doesn’t ruin it too much! I am excited that even though Easter holidays mean work, they also mean I get to see all of my best friends from school (also known as the dream team pictured below!) And remember if times do really get tough, just stress eat all your Easter eggs (it’s what I do every year!)
See you soon!