ERDP Development Grant: Exploring Medical Student experiences of denigration of General Practice by clinical teachers

In 2015 the ERDP funded a development project looking at the influences of clinical teachers on GP Trainees choice of career.  The findings highlighted denigration of GP as a career as a problem and it was reported that this starts as an undergraduate student.

Our aim in this follow up ERDP funded project was to explore comments about GP as a career made by clinical teachers to medical students so that we start to understand the current difficulties in recruitment to GP training better and work on ways that those difficulties might be addressed.

This was a qualitative, explorative study. Data was collected by conducting two focus groups of Medical Students who were undertaking an SSC in GP at Newcastle Medical School.

A semi structured interview format was utilised. They were digitally recorded and professionally transcribed. Results were analysed using thematic analysis.

The study confirmed that students hear comments from clinical teachers which denigrate General Practice as a career. The nature of these comments are consistent with those reported in other work to date.

Themes identified consisted of: the individual, the curriculum and culture in the Medical profession. These were used to postulate a model which may explain why negative comments shape a students’ perception of GP.


Denigration of GP is an ongoing problem with the Medical profession and strategies to address it must be developed or recruitment to the specialty will continue to decline. This study suggests a model which can help to understand the complex relationship between different factors which result in negative comments being taken on board by a student.


Emmet Carlin & Hugh Alberti,  School of Medical Education

Learning and Teaching Conference 2018

We had lots of work showcased at this year’s University Learning and Teaching Conference. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of what was being discussed via presentations, workshops and Lightening Talks.  If your work has been missed off, let us know



Recommendations for integrating innovative and creative learning approaches within higher education, Dr Iain Keenan, Lecturer, School of Medical Education

Using neuroscience research to influence teaching: Could ‘spaced learning’work in higher education?, Dr Paul Hubbard, Teaching Fellow, School of Medical Education


Reconceptualising and rewarding teaching and teaching excellence in higher education, Prof Danny McLaughlin, School of Medical Education, Prof Stephen McHanwell, School of Medical Education and Prof Sue Robson, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Lightning talks

Strand B: How can we encourage an educational experience supported and enhanced by technology? Session chaired by Dr Laura Delgaty, Deputy Degree Programme Director, School of Medical

Using ePortfolio to record the development of professional behavioural attributes and facilitate reflective practice in Pharmacy, Dr Hamde Nazar, Senior Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, Simon Cotterill, L & T Projects and Innovation Manager, Learning Technology Support Unit

Supporting the student voice through the MBBS Medical Learning Environment, Dr David Kennedy, Deputy Head of School, School of Medical Education, John Moss, Faculty Learning Technology Systems Manager, Learning Technology Support Unit, Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Successful use of multiple technologies to reinforce anatomy and physiology theory for first year sport and exercise science undergraduates, Dr Chris Eggett, Senior Lecturer, School of Biomedical Sciences.

How might we develop students as whole people, preparing them to flourish for futures we can’t predict? Cultivating resilience through mindfulness. Michael Atkinson, Teaching Fellow, School of Medical Education, Dr Richy Hetherington, Postgraduate Skills Development Co-ordinator, FMS Graduate School.

Embedding employability skills into an action learning module. Dr Sharron Kuznesof, Senior Lecturer, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences and Dr Helen Mason, Teaching Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences.

Strand C: How can we encourage an educational experience supported and enhanced by technology? Session chaired by Dr Floor Christie-de Jong, Lecturer, FMS Graduate School.

A place for Physical Activity in all undergraduate curricula



In February the ERDP Unit hosted the seminar ‘Training Tomorrow’s Healthcare Professionals in Exercise Medicine: Prevention and therapeutic management including perioperatively’.

It was delivered on behalf of Public Health England by Ann B Gates, MRPharmS, Associate Editor for the British Journal of Sports Medicine & Mr Ian Ritchie, FRCSEd, Past President of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh and their message was very clear.

The UK is more physically inactive than many other developed nations in Europe and North America. Around 20 million adults in the UK are so inactive that they are at risk of non-communicable disease, immobility and premature death. This is a major public health matter for all who work in healthcare.

The evidence is that physical activity prevents disease, treats a variety of physical and mental health conditions and helps in the rehabilitation from acute episodes. It is also an effective part of the skillset for any healthcare worker in helping people to manage long term conditions.

Against this background, we believe that there is an imperative for all undergraduate courses to include teaching on physical activity (PA) in their curricula.

Not only is information about PA important, but so is teaching about how to raise the topic in consultations and how to tailor the discussion to meet the individual needs of patients.

The next generation of healthcare professionals have to understand and take on the leadership role on behalf of their communities to ensure that decisions about transport, housing and community facilities recognise the health benefits of encouraging people to walk more and be physically active.

This is a large topic, but there are many resources available at the #MovementForMovement site. These materials have been endorsed by the UK Council of Deans of Health. The UK Chief Medical Officers have also produced excellent infographics to inform about the minimum levels of activity for health for all ages.

For more information contact:

Ann Gates, Founder and CEO of Exercise Works!

Ian Ritchie, Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh,