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Team Aberystwyth

An Introduction to the CARER Programme

4 May 2022
The CARER Programme in Aberystwyth is an excellent way to stretch your skills & increase your involvement and confidence in medical practice during your 3rd year in Medical School.
By March, we are in full swing of running our own clinics at our GP practices from Monday-Wednesday, independently seeing 5-10 patients per day. We take a history, examine, and perform initial investigations on the patient (e.g. taking blood pressure readings, taking blood and performing ECGs). The patients love being seen by students, as we can take the time to talk to them and give them a full medical checkover if that would put them at ease! Once we have finished these tasks, we consult with the GPs to check our knowledge on the patient’s condition and confirm the final management steps. Presenting patient cases to the GPs helps get you ready for doing this as an F1, and the opportunities daily to practice your history taking, examinations and clinical skills, which benefits your ISCEs preparation.
During CARER, you also get to spend 4 weeks in hospital, generally with 2 weeks in surgery, 1 week in A&E and 1 week in the medical admission unit in Bronglais Hospital. During my hospital weeks, I have scrubbed into many surgeries and helped the surgeon with small jobs during the procedures! I have also clerked many patients in A&E and learned how to write in patient notes. The staff at the hospital are very kind and are welcome to you returning anytime to gain more hospital experience!
On Thursdays, we are having teaching from Dr Fish (CARER Lead & GP Tutor in Borth Surgery), covering all the lectures, tutorials and cases in Year 3. The curriculum is no different, and because there is a small group of us, we can make these sessions very fun and ask all the questions we need to. We also receive extra personalised teaching on any topics we are struggling with, which helps us to prepare for the Progress Tests!
Aberystwyth is a beautiful seaside town which means you are never more than 20 minutes away from the beach! The proximity to Snowdonia and other mountain ranges in mid-Wales also makes this a great spot to explore the great outdoors during the year. I hiked Snowdon within 1 month of arriving here, which has always been a goal of mine! Aberystwyth also has so many cute cafes and restaurants to explore, which make it perfect for those who love to try new things. In Aberystwyth, we also have full access to all of the societies and clubs at Aberystwyth University, and free gym membership for the year!
CARER is an excellent opportunity because it challenges you to become a more proactive member of the healthcare team, minimising the shadowing time and maximising your chances to get stuck into the medicine you will be doing daily as a newly qualified doctor!
Megan Hodgson (Year 3 Medical Student, CARER Student in Aberystwyth)