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‘Lighting the touchpaper of our students’ professional learning’

We are delighted to confirm UMCRDT have been selected to represent the University in the Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) scheme.

Find out more about their work.

Our mission is to nurture the next generation of doctors. In partnership with students, academic colleagues, hospital trusts and clinicians across the South West, we actively support the delivery of an innovative, inclusive and research-rich curriculum that helps students to develop the confidence, professionalism and resilience needed to reach their full potential. These doctors will be caring for an ageing population where individuals may have numerous medical conditions. They will also need to be comfortable in dealing the inherent uncertainty of making diagnoses.

We (UMCRDT) are a diverse, multi-professional team of academics, technology-enhanced-learning specialists, professional services staff, student partners and NHS partners. Together we undertook an ambitious programme of work to produce and deliver a modern curriculum that lights the touchpaper to our students’ professional learning of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. This curriculum trains the curious and compassionate doctors of tomorrow. The degree is five years long or six if they complete an intercalated degree or foundation year. We have approximately 1,500 students and their learning opportunities are provided by two faculties, eight NHS trusts and over one hundred general practices in the west of England. In addition to the University of Bristol quality assurance processes we also have external regulation by the General Medical Council (GMC). The first year of the curriculum was rolled out in the 2017/18 academic year and our first cohort of trailblazing explorers graduated in 2022. This required rolling out several years of our new curriculum with the added pressures of the covid-19 pandemic.

Leadership is provided by academic co-directors with a flat hierarchy to empower the whole team to own the mission, challenges, and opportunities. The team is dynamic and changes in composition over time and has had to deal with the death of one of our founding co-directors. Our project manager ensured that we developed robust, and effective processes for meeting, facilitating the sharing of best practices from both academia and the NHS. The team oversaw, supported, and coordinated the work of approximately ten Task and Finish groups that developed specific aspects of the curriculum.

One theme of our work is helping students to deal with transition points such as the move from school to medical school, to the clinical setting while preparing them for professional practice. We have helical themes that run throughout the programme that champion topics including disability & diversity, arts in medicine, promoting student wellbeing, communication skills and many more. We made several paradigm shifts including the introduction of progress testing, case-based learning, being digital by design, going paperless and a final year that is focussed on preparing the students for their first hospital job. We have abandoned the traditional preclinical and clinical phases with significant exposure to health settings from year 1 including time working as healthcare assistants.

The team would like to extend our gratitude to our medical education community including all the administrators, facilitators, lecturers, clinical teaching fellows, NHS partners that make the curriculum happen. Our aspiration is for a medical school building to provide a home on campus for our students with teaching facilities including a clinical skills lab and social space where students and staff can socialise informally and foster a greater sense of a community of learning between staff and students.

For further information please contact Dr Eugene Lloyd.

University of Bristol’s NTF and CAFE nominations 22-23

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