Sixth form students will be able to get a taste of general practice, thanks to a new work experience scheme developed by health education bosses in one of the country’s most under-doctored regions.
Health Education East Midlands is piloting the scheme in Nottinghamshire, offering three to five day placements to students younger than 18 and considering a career in medicine.
Prospective medics will work in training practices and have opportunities to sit in on consultations with patient consent and experience teaching activities.
The scheme aims to help them ‘discover the reality of modern day general practice’ and placements will be extended across the region in the next 12 months.
In the recruitment advert, HEEM states that ‘general practice is a challenging and rewarding career.’
And says that, that whatever students might hear about primary care medicine, ‘it is for the more able and resilient. Your life will critically cross the lives of many and enable a deeper understanding of yourself and those you care for.’
The advert adds: ‘The placements will ensure that you have first-hand experience of all clinical and teaching activities in the practice. Many of these practices train nursing and medical students, foundation doctors and future general practitioners who will be able to give you first hand career advice.’
A spokesperson for HEE told Pulse: ‘Students will be sitting on consultations but only if patient gives consent. They will not be placed in the practice that they are a patient at.’
The East Midlands is one the areas hardest hit by the current GP workforce crisis, with around 47% of GP training places filled in time for this year’s August intake.
Training bosses have been working to boost exposure to general practice at all levels, after the RCGP met medical schools last year to discuss their ‘toxic anti-GP culture’.