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06 March 2014
The School of Medicine will today unveil a radical new education programme designed to attract, train and retain the best doctors for Wales.
Marking the biggest transformation of the University’s medical education programme since its School of Medicine was founded in 1921; the new curriculum aims to cultivate world-class doctors equipped with a heightened patient empathy and an excellent scientific understanding by introducing more community centred learning. Studies show that medical students who train in underserved areas are more likely to return there to work after graduation.
The new C21 undergraduate medical curriculum has been under development for the past three years and is underpinned by a commitment to creating a cutting-edge educational environment that incorporates evidence-based best practice to produce first-rate patient care.
"The new curriculum is an important milestone for medical education in Wales and will play a critical role in ensuring the future health of Wales," said Professor John Bligh, Dean of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine.
He added: "Not only will it will encourage students to be independent, life-long learners with a strong focus on science within clinical practice, but it will also instil at the heart of their learning, a renewed patient consciousness.
"Ultimately our goal is to modernise teaching with a view to producing world-class clinicians who want to live and work in Wales for the benefit of Welsh patients, and we hope the community-centred learning experience that this curriculum offers will encourage this."
Under the new curriculum, students will be introduced to community-based learning in their first year to ensure early patient contact. Through community placements, aspiring doctors will visit patients at home, and learn about clinical consulting from GP tutors in their surgeries, as well as visiting and seeing patients with numerous community NHS teams, dealing with issues ranging from sexual health and care for the elderly, to paediatrics and midwifery.
On-campus learning will also take place in the first year. Students will have the opportunity to interact with real-life clinical cases being treated in hospitals across South Wales. This will help contextualise students’ learning in the university and give it relevance.
Working with clinically-based role models at an early stage of their learning will serve to engender students with the professionalism and transferable skillset needed to tackle the challenges of modern medicine.
Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis, said:
"The new C21 undergraduate medical curriculum marks the start of an exciting period in the history of the medical school at Cardiff University. "It is important that medical education and training programmes provided in Wales keep pace with changes in both professional standards and social expectations. "The C21 programme’s focus on patient and community based learning will equip doctors with both the clinical expertise and heightened patient empathy to deliver a first-rate standard of care."
In the final (5th) year of their undergraduate degree, though still under supervision, students will take increasing clinical responsibility. They will be embedded into a clinical team and expected to undertake out of hours work. This will have important benefits for patient safety as well as softening the transition from medical school to foundation school.
Cardiff University School of Medicine is responsible for the graduation of 300 student doctors annually.
The C21 programme is the culmination of three years of collaboration between clinicians, academics, students and patients and is designed to ensure that Cardiff University School of Medicine provides Wales with the very best doctors.
The launch will take place 11:00 on 6 March at the Cochrane Building, based at the University’s Heath Park Campus.
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