Medical students move on with an excellent prognosis
(17 June 2005)
One of the country’s most eminent general practitioners will be passing on his best advice to medical students completing the first phase of their degree course in Medicine at Durham University.
Professor Sir Denis Pereira Gray, who worked for 38 years as a GP in Exeter, has been awarded numerous professional honours during a long and distinguished medical career. His awards include the Harben Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene and the Abercrombie and Foundation Council wards of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
He is the guest speaker at the special ceremony to mark the completion of Phase One of the Medicine degree programme by 93 students at Durham University’s Queen’ Campus in Stockton. They will now move to Newcastle University to complete the next three years of the Second Phase of their studies for a Masters in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (MBBS).
The ceremony takes place at 5.00 p.m on Monday 20th June in the Ebsworth Building at Queen’s Campus, Stockton, before a specially invited audience of VIP guests, including the guest speaker Sir Denis Pereira Gray and the Vice Chancellor of Durham University, Sir Kenneth Calman, and Dr. Suzanne Cholerton, Director of Medical Studies at Newcastle University.
Medicine at Durham is delivered in an exciting partnership with Newcastle University. Both universities have excellent reputations in external reports by the General Medical Council. Newcastle was awarded the maximum score of 24 from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham were awarded the maximum 24 and 23 respectively in the QAA subject reviews.
The Phase One programme at Queen’s Campus started in 2001 with an initial entry stream of 70 students who are now entering their final year at Newcastle. This year’s second year students from Queen’s will now integrate with Newcastle students for the next three years starting with 12 months’ clinical experience located at four regional cluster NHS teaching hospitals.
Professor John Hamilton, Academic Director of the MBBS Phase One Medicine Programme at Durham, is a medical educator of international renown who is retiring at the end of this academic year after a long and distinguished medical career. Queen’s is also losing Programme Manager Dr. Ray Manning who is also retiring after working closely with Professor Hamilton to establish the course.
Professor Hamilton says : “This special ceremony to mark the completion of Phase One of the Medicine Programme is now in its third year and it is a significant milestone in the development of our unique partnership with Newcastle University. It is a great achievement for our second year students and it is exciting the see our first intake now entering their final year.”
“All our students have done well here at Durham where they have received a robust and broad experience of learning with a definite emphasis on patient contact and community involvement. They have been working alongside a range of over 100 clinicians and healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, social workers and physiotherapists. With our robust links with local schools and communities this demonstrates our great commitment to the NHS has been praised by the General Medical Council as a model of good practice in the field of health care working.”
This year’s completing students will be welcomed by the Vice Chancellor accompanied by the Dean of Medicine Professor Pali Hungin.
Professor Hungin said : “This is a particularly important occasion for us as the Founding Director of Undergraduate Medicine, Professor Hamilton, and the Programme manager bid farewell to students. This Queen’s Campus based programme is now well established and together with significant progress in health and medical research we are proud to be part of Stockton’s status as a university town.”
MEDIA CALL : 3.45 p.m. MONDAY 20th JUNE
Holliday Building Teaching Laboratories, Queen’s Campus, Stockton. A number of completing students (see attached case studies) will be available for photo/film/interview in a laboratory setting. The guest speaker and other principal guests will also be available prior to the start of the ceremony at 5.00 p.m. Report to Reception on arrival.
For further information contact : Professor John Hamilton, Academic Director Phase One Medicine Programme, Durham University, Tel 0191 334 0323.
Media enquiries to : Tom Fennelly, Public Relations Officer, Durham University. Tel 0191 334 6078
Notes to editors :
1. In the North-East, medical education is delivered through a partnership between the Universities of Newcastle and Durham, two excellent academic centres, together with a region-wide NHS infrastructure of acute hospitals, general practices and public health units, serving a large patient population of 3.5 million.
2. Through this exciting partnership, the five-year medical programme is delivered in two phases. Phase I of the programme (2 years), which establishes the essential knowledge base for medicine in a clinical context, is offered by both universities, while Phase II (3 years) provides clinical experience in a wide range of NHS hospital and community settings across the region, under the management of the University of Newcastle.
3. Sir Denis Pereira Gray established the first postgraduate university department of general practice in Europe at Exeter in 1973 and was later appointed Professor and Director of the Postgraduate Medical School there. He is the author of over 200 articles in scientific journals, has written/edited four books, and delivered 16 eponymous lectures in Australia, England, Ireland and the Netherlands.
4. Sir Denis has been Chairman of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Chairman of the Joint Committee for Postgraduate Training for General Practitioners, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, and Chairman of the Academy of the Medical Royal Colleges. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Nuffield Trust.
STUDENT CASE STUDIES :
Phase One Medicine Programme – Student case study 1
‘Don’t be put off come and talk to tutors at Queen’s’
Mature student Jay Walker, aged 29, from Durham, completed the Foundation Programme at Queen’s Campus, Stockton, with a view to studying Medicine. Now, after completing the first two years of the course he is excited about entering the final three years on Phase Two at Newcastle University.
He says:”The course has been hard work and I have had to make big changes in my life to get through. For people like me who missed out on school early in life and left school without any qualifications, the course presents and exceptional opportunity to get into Medicine.”
Jay went straight into the Army at 16. His life changed when his daughter was born and he needed to be nearer home and wanted to study to study Medicine. During an access course a Further Education College he was told that he would never be accepted on a University course because he was not 18 and did not have three Grade A A-levels.
Tutors at Durham University did not agree and encouraged Jay to join the Foundation Programme and attain a high mark to allow him to join the Medicine Programme. This he did and he says: “For people considering Medicine I would like to say : don’t be put off, come and talk to tutors at Queen’s. Staff are extremely friendly and supportive and they have made the journey a lot easier.
Jay says that the Masters Biology & Biomedical Sciences (MBBS) degree course presents an exceptional opportunity to get into Medicine. He added: “The course has broadened my horizons by a seemingly infinite amount, which I would not have though possible before I started at Durham.”
Phase One Medicine Programme – Student case study 2
‘Attracted by meeting patients from the first week and working in the community ..North East is welcoming and friendly’
Ahmed El-Sharkawy from Oxfordshire was attracted to study Medicine at Queen’s Campus, Stockton, by the prospect of meeting patients from the first week as well as having an opportunity to work within the community. He found the North East welcoming and friendly when he attended an Open Day at Stockton.
He says the MBBS course is excellent and has provided learning opportunities which allowed him to gain knowledge of local cultures and traditions as well as the patient’s perspective to chronic illness.
Ahmed feels that the course has benefited him as person as well as a potential doctor. He says the main benefits came through the patient study, the family project and the community placement.
At this stage of his studies Ahmed is thinking about going into the cardio-thoracic paediatric field, He praised the modern study, sports and social facilities at Queen’s Campus.
Phase One Medicine Programme – Student case study 3
‘I wanted to be among the first to be part of a new, exciting patient-orientated course’
James Burns, aged 20 of Sunniside, Newcastle, came straight from school to Durham University and chose the Medicine Programme at Queen’s Campus, Stockton, because he wanted to join a brand new medical school and follow a course which he describes and “exciting and patient-orientated”.
He says : “ I wanted to be among the first to be part of the new course. I also wanted to play rugby for Durham University.”
James, who has not yet decided on a definite career path, thinks that the MBBS course is very good in style, content and delivery with excellent teaching. “I think that it will have the best anatomy department for learning that would beat most other medical schools not only nationally but internationally,” he says enthusiastically.
He praises the fact that the course instils a rang of different topics and is very patient –orientated. He is not so enthusiastic about the course term time which he says are far too short.
With fewer bars than the Durham Campus. James says that Stockton is ideal for medical students who have to work very hard and have reduced social time!
Phase One Medicine Programme – Student case study 4
‘Drawn by the relaxed campus atmosphere and the passion of staff and students about the course and the University”
Local student Catriona Macardle, who attained her first degree in Anthropology BA (Hons) at the Durham Campus, was considering studying Medicine elsewhere until she visited Queen’s Campus on an Open Day. She was impressed by their interest in students as individuals, their personal welfare and learning.
Catriona, who hails from Durham, chose to stay in the North East and plans to pursue a career in the area. She says she was drawn by the relaxed campus atmosphere and the passion that both staff and students exuded about the course and the University. Working with local clinicians alongside excellent teaching staff on a very patient centred course has given Catriona a great start for the next Phase of clinical work..
She also regards the Phase One programme as providing an brilliant opportunity to find role models and mentors. She also says that because the overall support provided, Queen’s Campus is the place to be for anyone thinking of studying as a mature student.