Medical Student Teaching


Why should I help?

Staff in the Rheumatology Department are involved in teaching first year medical students at the University of East Anglia about musculoskeletal problems.

You may be able to help if you would be interesting for the students to meet and have a condition that is important for the students to see.

What will be involved?

Should you volunteer for this teaching, it is envisaged you will see up to ten medical students. Although tutors may run the session slightly differently, it is likely you will be asked to talk to 3 groups of 3-4 students and each group will be with you for about 20 to 30 minutes.

The students will ask questions in order to learn from you the story of your illness and how it affects you, as well as the treatment you have had as you have a wealth of personal knowledge that will be useful to the students. Any aids which are easily portable and which you could bring in from home might be useful for the students to see.

At the end of this, the tutors will ask if they can demonstrate examination of a joint to the students. It is possible that one student may be asked to examine one of your joints or your back. Please feel free to give the students feedback if you would like to.

What are the students like?

Some students are school-leavers although others are more experienced and have had careers in other fields. Some have previous health service experience although most have non-medical backgrounds. All students understand the need for confidentiality and have had lectures and seminars on its importance.

How long will the teaching take?

Each teaching session should not last any longer than 3 hours, and mostly you will be asked to be there for a shorter time. Tutors are aware that sitting around between being seen by students is wasting your time, and will try to avoid this as much as possible.

You are asked to sign a consent form when you arrive so that we have a record that you have agreed to help with teaching.

Where will it take place and how do I get there?

All teaching will take place at the hospital. Transport can be arranged if you have no other form of transport but if you use your own car or public transport, we will be able to reimburse you with a small contribution towards your travel costs and your car parking ticket will be validated.

Suppose I want to join in?

You are welcome to join in the discussions. Discussions are likely to be general about the condition you have and may not be specific to you in particular.

May I ask the students questions?

The students have just started their training to be doctors and it would be inappropriate for them to answer questions about your condition. Any pressing questions should be directed to the tutor, although this person may not be the health care professional you normally see in the clinic, and any questions about treatment should ideally be saved until your next appointment.

Will I receive any treatment during my visit?

Unless you are attending the hospital for prearranged treatment, it will not be possible to arrange treatment or a clinical assessment when you attend for teaching.

In future years when the course is more established, it may be possible to offer a clinic appointment or medical review at the same time.

Will I definitely be called on for teaching?

At this stage a pool of volunteers is being developed. There is a chance we may have lots of people with your condition to call upon, so you may not be contacted. However, your willingness to participate is very much appreciated. If you agree to attend a session and then are unable to, please telephone Joyce Henderson on 01603 286618 or Sue Norris on 01603 286619 as we may have time to find a replacement for you.

How can I give feedback?

There will be an opportunity to give feedback at the end of each session and you may be asked to fill in a more formal questionnaire at a later stage.

Do I need to sign a consent form?

You will be asked to sign a consent form to confirm you are happy to participate in teaching. The health care professional who is present at the time of teaching may not be the person who asks you to sign the consent form.

If you do agree to attend, your details will be kept on a database, which will be used as a record of those people who have agreed to participate.

Thank you

If you do agree to help with the teaching, your participation is gratefully acknowledged. It is hoped you will find this an enjoyable and interesting experience. The feedback from last year's sessions was that the majority of patients who attended enjoyed the teaching, meeting the students and other patients and some people said that they learnt more about their condition.

Further Information

If you require further information, please telephone Joyce Henderson or Sue Norris on one of the following telephone numbers: