Medical students at Aintree benefit from Consultant year leads, enabling more direct supervision and planning of organised teaching for each year.
Aintree guide trainee doctors through their first clinical placements with a named tutor who they meet during each hospital week. This Consultant provides clinical teaching as well as a link for pastoral support, and a role model for the developing doctors.
Each hospital week is based in a clinical specialty and students experience a range of medical and surgical environments, gaining experience in both inpatient and outpatient management.
Dedicated sessions for observed clinical examinations and oral case presentations are included in student timetables.
Face-to-face feedback meetings with students share good practice and areas for development, allowing placements to be adapted to the changing needs of learners.
Third year students carry out six and eight week rotations in Surgery and Medicine respectively. This is a time to develop an understanding of working in teams and is the student’s first exposure to hospital practice over a continuous long period.
Students are exposed to a wide range of learning activities enabling the development of curriculum skills and clinical examination, as well as acquiring detailed clinical knowledge.
There is the opportunity to work with multidisciplinary teams such as with specialist nurses, pharmacists and international collaborative research teams in acute specialties such as Cardiology. Students can also benefit from further development in areas such as clinical projects and intercalated research.
The fourth year helps students to prepare for final examinations at the end of the academic year. There is a robust teaching programme in the individual specialities in line with the School of Medicine’s curriculum. This consists of dedicated teaching sessions along with hands-on ward and bedside teaching. There is also the provision for extra sessions in areas in where students feel they would benefit from more experience.
Feedback is actively encouraged and acted upon and there are robust support systems in place to help students who are having any difficulties during the course of the year.
Fifth year students are supported by a unique programme designed to bridge the gap between School of Medicine finals in the fourth year and the beginning of clinical practice as an FY1. No other hospital in the region offers anything as extensive.
There is weekly consultant-led half day protected teaching on subjects ranging from how to prescribe antibiotics, to trauma, and how to manage an airway. Each topic has been carefully chosen to build confidence and allow a seamless transition to FY1.
Additionally, there are various opportunities for simulation-based teaching. The local Centre for Simulation and Patient Safety is now part of Aintree University Hospital, allowing the provision of more simulation training for students. The hospital has developed a ‘Carry the Bleep’ simulation course, allowing students to experience a simulated ‘on call’ day with a live bleep.
The teaching programme at Aintree is constantly updated and developed to reflect student needs and feedback.