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Tomorrow’s Doctors

1 August 2016

Medical Students S4C

A major TV documentary series will look at how Cardiff University is preparing a new generation of doctors for the ever-growing demands of the NHS.

The series Doctoriaid Yfory (translation: Tomorrow's Doctors) – is launched today (Monday, 1 August, 1.00pm) at the S4C Pavilion on the National Eisteddfod field in Abergavenny.

The documentary, to be broadcast on S4C from Tuesday 13 September, follows 15 medical students at the Cardiff University School of Medicine.

Ranging between 18 and 23 years old, these Welsh-speaking students come from various backgrounds and areas of Wales, but they are all united by a passion for medicine.

The cameras of Cardiff-based award-winning production company Green Bay Media have been following the students for 12 months in hospitals and general practices all over Wales.

The seven-part series, filmed in partnership with Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, has enjoyed unrivalled access to operating theatres, surgeries, hospital wards and the multi million pound clinical training facilities at the University Heath Campus.

The access was made possible by the NHS staff who supported the series and most crucially are key in the teaching and development of the students as they grow into caring, committed and highly able doctors.

Series producer Llinos Griffin-Williams of Green Bay Media said: "The series provides a unique behind-the-scenes portrayal of how a pioneering School of Medicine helps shape these young, often raw, and certainly inexperienced undergraduates into the doctors, surgeons and consultants of the future.

"From the safety of the classroom, to the stark reality of A&E, we look at the emotional, intellectual and physical challenges facing these students, as they prepare for some of the country's most demanding jobs.

“Challenging and at times incredibly moving the series looks at the reality of preparing for a unique profession as an army of tutors, doctors and nurses shape the next generation of physicians. This has been a humbling and inspiring series to produce.

“Our journey takes us all over Wales and as far as New Zealand and Tonga, but the personal, emotional journey will take us all on an even longer journey."

This All-Wales breadth of clinical experience provided by the School of Medicine means that the students become familiar with Welsh healthcare provision and the needs of our communities. This is reflected in the 55% who have chosen to stay in Wales this year for their first Foundation post.

The students learn about medicine in all kinds of communities in Wales; but the emphasis is always primarily on patient care.

Dr Awen Iorwerth, from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine said: “The patient is central to the student's learning experience in Cardiff, as they should be throughout a doctor's career. Our aim is to transform young people who do well in exams into committed, empathic and happy young doctors. Wales is a microcosm of many societies and is a wonderful classroom to teach our students about all aspects of medicine and to give them a taste of the various lifestyles a doctor can have.”

Cardiff University’s School of Medicine has broken new ground in various aspects of medical training, one being the use of a second language as part of their courses. Working in collaboration with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (Welsh National College), they are preparing students to work through the medium of Welsh.

Llinos Griffin-Williams adds, "A number of the students will choose to work in rural areas of Wales, returning to the communities where they were brought up. The National Health Service in Wales has put great emphasis on preparing doctors and nurses for work in areas where a significant percentage of the population is Welsh speaking. The Cardiff University School of Medicine has pioneered in collaboration with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol in preparing medical students for a bilingual society."

More information about the series, along with student profiles will follow nearer to transmission in September.