Dundee Medical Education Conference 2011

Today I attended and presented at the Dundee Medical Education Conference 2011, which was really good. I guess most people reading this won’t know much about conferences. I’ve attended a couple over the last year or two and prior to that, had no idea what to expect. So, I’ll give a run-through of what I did today. Before, I kind of got the impression that conferences could be a bit boring, but I found this one, for the most part, really interesting. So, here goes nothing:

The alarm went off at 7:30 – the earliest I’ve gotten out of bed in months because of the summer holidays. I put on my freshly ironed shirt, jumper and trousers and my newly polished shoes and headed off to Ninewells.

When I got there, I met with Lesley, who I was presenting with, and went to register outside Lecture Theatre 1 (LT1). After that, there was some coffee, nibbles and plently of tutors around. We stayed and chatted to some we knew well and then headed into LT1 for an introductory talk. The Intro talk was quite interesting and went on for about an hour – I don’t really want to say too much about what was said in the talks as I’m not sure how much information I’m allowed to divulge. Besides, it’d probably bore quite a lot of people who couldn’t care less about medical education.

Anyway, after this lecture, it was another coffee break (as is tradition with doctors, who have coffee every half an hour or so) and then we broke out into small groups with different themes. You sign up to the session you want to attend beforehand based on your interests. Lesley and I presented our work on the Mock OSCE we implemented last year which went really well. Our presentation fitted in with two other presentations on the student as an assessor which were both very interesting and led to some interesting discussion, whihc was good.

Next it was back to LT1 for a Curriculum update. Again, I’m not going to say too much here, but, a lot of restructuring is planned for the medical school in Dundee, which is quite exciting. For one, the Dundee Outcomes/Scottish Doctor Outcomes are no longer being used following Tomorrow’s Doctor’s 2009 taking these outcomes and adding to them. I’ll probably make a post about these outcomes another day, as they’re quite integral to the dundee curriculum atm. There are also talks of making the systems based teaching start from the first day of medical school and integrating the anatomy course within this, along with the new embalming technique of the cadavers. There’s talks of involving the Dental and Nursing and Midwifery school in medical student teaching, making things much more interprofessional (Given how often you’ll be working with nurses in the future, its amazing this hasn’t been done before) and the Medical school is also getting a rebuild. The library is geting an extension, two smallish lecture theatres are being made into one and the Centre for Medical Education is being moved from Perth Road (miles away) to Ninwells, which is a good thing. Also, ITA is getting a long-needed revamp and is having its name changed to ISS – can’t remember what it means, but it sounds much better than ITA is.

The new build will probably start in December of this year, but when it’ll finish, I don’t know! I’m also not sure what year all the changes above will come into place. I have a feeling it’ll be for the 2012-2013 intake year, but who knows. Anyway, all the changes above basically make most other posts I’ve made about the Dundee Course Structure redundant, so I would be guided by what is said in the University Prospectus about the course structure and also what is said at the Open Days. Actually, there’s a point – Does anyone who attended any open days know whats going on? Did they mention anything about the course changing for you, or the new build?

Anyway, after that talk, it was lunch. Lunches are free to everyone at the conference and they did these wee mini bagels with cheese and smoked salmon, which, I have to say, was, AMAZING. I had about 6 of them, plus a few half sandwiches, a wrap and some pastry/pakora things. What? Don’t look at me like that… I’m a starving student, ok?!

Next I went up to the ITA area to see some posters on show. One of them was buy a guy I know and so I really went to see that one. It was really good and ended up winning the poster prize, which was brilliant for him, so that was great.

Next was a talk on E-learning at Dundee which was mostly about blogs and online modules which is somewhat of interest to me now(!). In there was a couple of mentions of some of my closest friends at Dundee who have been involved in E-learning projects in the past, so it was great to hear them getting some credit for the work they’ve done.

After this lecture, it was another breakout group which was on admissions and assessment, where I got the inside scoop on some really interesting stuff. One thing which came up, which I’ve neglected to mention on the blog up until now is the Progress Test at Dundee – I’ll make a post another day about that.

And that was my day.

So in summary – has anyone read the prospectus for this year? Or been to an open day? Is the course changing for those applying this year? If it is, what do you think of the way things are changing?

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