General practice teaching is a key part of our curriculum.
It provides an opportunity to place clinical problems in the wider context of the patient's social, emotional, psychological background and belief system. It introduces students to the wide variety of symptoms that patients may present with. General practice teaching provides our students with a wide range of opportunities for learning, including practising communication and clinical skills under close supervision.
Students are introduced to general practice as a specialty in its own right, and will spend around 13% of the course in general practice. This is around 10% of Years 1 and 2, 0% of Year 3, 20% of Year 4 and 25% of Year 5. Learning outcomes include managing clinical uncertainty, safe prescribing, chronic disease care, and undertaking a person-centred, holistic approach to patient care. During regular visits to a general practice surgery, students learn history taking and clinical examination in practice. In order to develop competence in clinical general practice and to promote confidence in communication with patients these placements culminate in 'student-led surgeries'.
We have GP facilitators teaching from the very first module, and exposure to family care and chronic diseases very early on in the course. Our GP teaching team are actively practicing as clinicians, alongside their teaching work. BSMS students take part in simulated surgeries in Year 4, and in Year 5 spend a month in general practice with their own lists where possible.
BSMS also has an active student GP society with a membership across all five years.