First Students Graduate from the UKs First Mini-Medical School

Posted on Thursday 28th June 2007

Thirty-five students will complete their ten week journey through the world of medicine when the graduate from the University’ of Birmingham’s Mini-Medical school today (Wednesday 27th June). The students will collect their certificates for completing their course at the end of the final session.

Over the ten weeks the students have practised resuscitation techniques, taken blood pressure measurements, seen how radiologists use x-rays, CT and PET scans to diagnose problems in the gut and played the part of a medical student in a mock consultation with a patient.

The course, which is the first of its kind in the UK, was set up to provide a fun and accessible overview of modern medicine for anyone with an interest in the subject.

Gemma Fuller from the University’s Medical School comments: “We’ve been delighted with the way the course has been received. This has been a really varied group including young people interested in possibly following a medical career, staff who work in healthcare, but most people are just interested in the finding out more about medicine and public health. 

We’ve tried to introduce as many practical activities as possible and the students have been keen to get involved - we’ll definitely be looking to run the course again.”

Laura Seymour is one of the students who chose to join the Mini-Medical School because she is interested in a possible career in medicine:  "The past ten weeks at the Mini Medical School have been a fascinating insight into the human body and contemporary health issues, the practical sessions were a particular highlight, giving us the chance to try out equipment and generally have some fun!  Overall it’s been an immensely enjoyable way to spend ten evenings!"  

The course has been structured so that each two hour session covers a different topic in health including sessions on the circulatory system, the brain, cancer medicine and psychiatric health. Wednesday’s final class is a whistle-stop tour through the history of medicine.

The two sessions focusing on doctor / patient communication and medical ethics proved particularly popular with students.

Dr Adam Fraser is part of University’s Communication Skills Team: “I think it was interesting for many of the students to get a see the doctor patient relationship from the other side. We asked all the students to play the role of a medical student in mock consultations with patients (played by actors). We try exactly the same exercises with medical students, because developing their communication skills is extremely important.

They students asked some terrific questions, but we hope it also showed how tricky it can be for doctors in a consultation." 

Student, Stephanie Talliss-Foster adds: “The course does give a real glimpse into the education and training that modern medical professionals undergo.  For that reason alone it would useful for anyone who has an interest in any aspect of medicine from understanding medical consultations and media reports, to considering a medical career.”

For further information contact: Ben Hill, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, Tel 0121 4145134, Mob 07789 921163

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Professional images of student Laura Seymour with Professor Karen Morrison at the Mini Medical School are available on request. Interviews can also be arranged.

The final Mini-Medical School class takes place at the University of Birmingham’s Medical School at 7pm on Wednesday 27th June

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MINI MEDICAL SCHOOLS

Mini-medical schools were first established in North America over 10 years ago and have proved to be very popular with high demand and an increasing number of Universities running their own versions of the course.  The mini-medical school idea has also spread to Ireland and Australia but at the moment no Mini-medical school course are offered in the UK.