Thank you for considering helping one of our medical students. Now, more than ever, we need to train more doctors, and to complement their scientific training with development as compassionate and empathic clinicians.
The Narrative Medicine Course
We have worked closely with the University of Buckingham Medical School since it began in 2015. The innovative Narrative Medicine course lets future doctors learn from patients and appreciate them as individuals. They gain insight into the patient’s perspective as they navigate to the NHS for their care.
We need around 20 to 30 patients each year. Previous patients who have helped us with this have found it rewarding and enjoyable.
The student will contact you periodically during the first 18 months of their medical training, usually every 3-4 months. They will reflect on how your illness affects you as an individual and those around you. This will help them integrate the knowledge they have gained during other parts of the course with your real-life situation. In tandem, the University teaches them to develop skills in reflection that doctors consider important for lifelong learning and professional development.
The course runs throughout phase 1 of the medical course, alongside the student’s study at the University and in other clinical environments. The student will write an essay on life for you with your illness. This is fully anonymised and there will be no connections made about you within the essay.
University of Buckingham Medical School
The University of Buckingham launched a new undergraduate medical degree course running over 4.5 years in 2015. The first students qualified in 2019 and are now working as doctors in the NHS.
General practice is seen as a perfect opportunity for medical students to learn about illness and its impact on people. It is hoped that half of all medical students will become GPs. Therefore, medical schools have been asked to ensure that the students spend as much time in general practice as possible. The University of Buckingham Medical School has undertaken to do this. The course, consisting of two phases, has been designed to give the students as much contact with patients as possible from the outset. Narrative medicine is in Phase 1 of the course.
We are asking you this on an entirely voluntary basis. If you do not wish to take part, there will have no impact on your care from the Swan Practice. If you are curious about taking part, then please reply yes to the text message you have been sent or ring reception. If you agree,
- We will arrange a chat with Dr Ben Burgess or Dr Alison Banks to discuss this with you and to answer any questions you might have.
- We will ask you to sign a consent form for the University. You can withdraw your consent at any time over the 18 months – again this will have no impact on your care from us.
- The new student cohort starts in January. The student will contact you in February and arrange to meet you at a time that is convenient for you. They are usually quite new into their course, and you may be one of the first patients they meet.
Traditionally, the student meetings have been face-to-face, usually in the patient’s home, but this can also be done in a neutral venue such as a coffee shop or a room at the surgery if you prefer. Since the pandemic, contacts have also been done remotely, using Microsoft Teams video calls, or by telephone, and the student will respect your preferences on this.
Once again, thank you for your interest to help with medical training.
I’m already a Narrative Medicine volunteer and would like to get involved more with the University
If you’re interested in other opportunities to help with student training, please contact the Patient Involvement Forum on [email protected]