Although Anaesthetics is a non-core subject in undergraduate medical education, the department contributes in many ways to the teaching of medical students in Cardiff University. The curriculum is currently undergoing a major revision (C21), starting in the academic year 2013-14.
Dr Brian Jenkins is the Sub-Dean for Governance and Compliance, with the role developing strategy for the continuous enhancement of the undergraduate programme and helping to develop and monitor compliance of quality standards within the Institute of Medical Education and educational partners such as NHS LHBs.
Clinical skills and procedures are taught throughout the five years, initially using simple simulators to teach such skills as intravenous cannulation, arterial and venous puncture. In later years of the medical curriculum more complex skills such as management of the acutely ill patient is taught using high-fidelity simulation. Anaesthetists have been the main speciality involved in teaching these skills, not only on the Heath Park Campus, but in hospitals throughout Wales. In Cardiff, both anaesthetic consultants and trainees have taught skills to students in every year of the curriculum.
Students do project work in most years of the curriculum, and anaesthetic staff have supervised students completing these projects, ranging from “experience” attachments in year 2 for students interested in learning more about Anaesthesia to Senior Clinical Projects in year 5. Year 3 projects last for 9 weeks where the students develop projects relating to aspects of anaesthesia and produce a written report at the end. For the next academic year the year 5 project will be replaced by a group audit, which senior staff may be asked to supervise. Dr Brian Jenkins has co-ordinated these projects for the department, and provides the interface with the undergraduate administrative staff.
One of the changes in the new curriculum starting in 2013-14 is to provide more integration between basic sciences and clinical medicine. The anaesthetic department is looking to collaborate with the School of Biosciences to develop more innovative ways of teaching basic sciences such as anatomy in the later years. Dr Iliaz Hodjovic is helping to develop this part of the undergraduate teaching.
As well as supporting teaching, many consultants are academic mentors, supporting and guiding students as they progress through medical school. Staff are assigned to students in year 1 and meet up with the same students every year, monitoring their progress and giving them feedback on their work. Dr Sarah Hunt is the deputy lead in the Student Support Unit, a service designed to support students who need more specialised and intensive support.
Some staff are also involved with teaching subjects unrelated to anaesthetics such as Ethics and Professionalism (Dr Brian Jenkins and Dr Sharmila Khot). Many staff contribute in many different ways, and this just gives an overview of the support provided by the Department.
If you are interested in medical education and would like to become involved in undergraduate medical teaching or support, contact Dr Jenkins on firstname.lastname@example.org.