The Annual Teachers’ Conference took place on Friday 9 June 2017 Celebrating the Student and Teacher Partnership. About 100 delegates joined together to network, offer peer support and learn through conversation, lectures and a series of workshops. A brief overview of the key themes and reflections from the day follows.
Dr Sonia Kumar, Director of Undergraduate Primary Care Education, opened by sharing a story of coming across an old man with a bike puncture while out with her husband. While her husband repaired the puncture they got to know a little of his life; how his wife had died and he now lived in sheltered accommodation with cycling being an important way for him to get out and about. Later that day Sonia was reflecting on how hearing his story had made her feel sad and sorry for his changed circumstances, whereas Dev, Sonia’s husband, had taken away a different impression – a wonderful life where he continued to be cared for, maintaining his independence and a lifelong hobby in the form of his bike. And so with teaching, sometimes the student – teacher agenda and perspective to a situation can be different and recognising this is key to a successful teaching partnership.
A Vision for the Future
Professor Val Wass spoke to the subject “Doctors Without Borders”, drawing on her life experience as a GP, medical school dean, RCGP International lead and recent publication on By choice – not by chance: supporting medical students to careers in general practice for NHS Health Education England. She highlighted four important barriers (Generation Gap, Societal Borders, Specialty Borders and Self-Knowledge) we need to recognise in how we deliver education to support students to flourish in their future.
Reflecting with students
The student prizes showcased a huge amount of creativity with videos, paintings, interviews allowing us all to reflect on how healthcare delivery and our own attitudes shape the patient experience. One sensed a huge injection of energy and inspiration into the room, affirming to the audience members their inner calling of ‘this is why I want to teach’, and lots of reflections for teachers of their own practice – a true teacher-student partnership. This creative animation by a pair of students who got to know a patient over a number of months as she navigated the NHS and her own identity is highly recommended.