The UK needs more GPs, community nurses and practice nurses. Unfortunately the number of whole time equivalent GPs in the UK is declining not increasing. Bridge View Medical recognises this problem and is committed to training the next generation of doctors and nurses.
Bristol Medical School has approximately 1200 medical students. In each year of their 5 year course students spend time in general practice learning how to talk to patients, examine them, make diagnoses and treat them. Last year the medical school launched a new curriculum which is being phased in over 5 years. This new curriculum has been designed partly to promote general practice as a career. Students will spend even more time in general practice. Because we are so close to the medical school a lot of the students will be spending time at one or more of the practices that form Bridge View Medical.
What does this mean for me? In the future it is more likely that you will see a medical student during one of your visits to the GP surgery, just as you would if you went to a hospital as in-patient or out-patient. The medical student will always be working under the supervision of a qualified GP. The student may be sitting in with the GP, observing and contributing to the consultation. If the student is in their fourth or final year of the course you may be asked to see the student first. Once the student has made their assessment of your problem they will discuss this with their supervising GP who will also see you. Sometimes students will be taught in small groups to learn about particular problems such as heart disease. In this case the GP who is teaching them may invite you as an “expert patient” to come to the surgery so that the students can learn from your experience as a patient.
When you book an appointment to see a GP you should be told if a medical student will be present and you should be reminded of this when you check-in. You always have the option of saying no. However, so far, our experience has been that patients like seeing students and helping to teach the doctors of the future. We are very grateful for this.
Bridge View Medical also trains qualified doctors to become GPs. These doctors have usually worked in hospitals for several years but need to learn the special skills and knowledge that can only be acquired in general practice. These doctors operate under the supervision of an experienced GP who has been accredited as a trainer. We have several GP trainers within Bridge View Medical and at any one time we have two or more doctors who are completing their training as a GP. Many of the doctors who work for Bridge View Medical trained with us. It is because we do so much teaching and training that we have been able to keep going and provide the best possible care for the patients of South Bristol.
Thank you for your support.
Written by Dr. Andrew Blythe