In my shoes: Tony, patient volunteer

From receiving care to helping medical students, Tony Poulter’s involvement with our hospital stretches over 15 years.

After his experience as an in-patient, the 81-year-old started volunteering to help medical students to learn how to examine patients.

“I have been well looked after at the hospital and I consider volunteering as a way to payback for the excellent care I received,” said Tony.

“I like to help future doctors by taking part in the student OSCEs and participating in the patient experience teaching. I particularly enjoy the role-playing scenarios.

“As a full-time carer for my wife, who has dementia and Parkinson’s, volunteering at the hospital allows me some respite from looking after her.

“I have been volunteering at the Medical School since 2005 and enjoy the company of the staff, new and old, and other regular patient volunteers like me who turn up year after year.”

“I’d like to thank Tony, and all the other patient volunteers, for their great help,” said Lesley Bowker, Clinical Skills Director at Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia.

“More than 1,000 medical students are taught at the hospital each year. With the support from volunteers like Tony and senior doctors, they learn how approach patients and do examinations.

“Almost anyone can volunteer as a patient in some capacity, but we are always on the lookout for patients with long-term conditions who can tell students what it’s like to live with the condition.

“We also like to recruit those with abnormal clinical signs, for example a heart murmur, those who have suffered a stroke, skin lesions and any post-operative patients.”

Volunteers receive reserved parking, expenses and light refreshments.

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