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Tomorrow’s A&E doctors

26 September 2017

Vaughan Gething with UHB and CU delegation

A group of Cardiff medical students are about to embark on an intensive year’s training in front-line emergency and pre-hospital medicine to encourage more Welsh-trained doctors to consider a career as an A&E doctor in Wales.

Designed and delivered by the University’s School of Medicine, the new Emergency Pre-hospital and Immediate Care intercalated BSc, which starts this week, will see the students spending the academic year in busy emergency departments in Wales, alongside weekly exposure with the Welsh Ambulance Service.

The aim is to inspire and encourage the next generation of medical practitioners to consider specialising in emergency medicine. It is anticipated that it will also support Wales-wide efforts to recruit and retain emergency doctors for the Welsh NHS, and ensure that doctors can deliver the safest and best care possible.

Vaughan Gething using ultrasound

The design of the programme draws on the research and teaching strengths available in the emergency and pre-hospital medicine settings in Wales and is part-funded by Welsh Government.

It will start with initial cohort of 10 students placed at A&E departments in South East Wales and will provide medical students with a solid grounding in acute care and provide exposure to emergency medicine earlier in their training. Within three years, up to 15 students per year will be able to benefit from the course and take-up placements in hospitals across West and North Wales.

Dr Steve Riley, Dean of Medical Education at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, said: “It is essential that we play our part in addressing the recruitment and retention issues in emergency medicine by making it an attractive speciality for medical students and new doctors...”

“Alongside ensuring we produce great medical professionals we also want to actively create opportunities and prime students to consider careers such as emergency medicine where there is a shortage of specially-trained doctors.”

Professor Steve Riley Head of School of Medicine

“This new intercalated course, which within two years will have an all-Wales remit is designed to do just that and we hope it will also encourage students to make Wales their first choice for training, development and career aspiration.”

Dr Huw Lloyd Williams, Route Lead of the Emergency, Pre-hospital and Immediate Care BSc programme, said: “This programme will see our undergraduate C21 medical students working alongside their postgraduate counterparts in emergency departments across Wales. It aims to be an immersive and evidence based experience encouraging the students into a career in an acute medical specialty and inspire these medical students to become clinicians working on the frontline of the NHS.”

MEDIC students in simulation suite

“Recognising the value of emergency medicine”

Emergency medicine is a vital front-line service that must be delivered safely and accurately for every patient, every time. It is the only area of medical practice that sees patients at any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, no matter the condition.

Dr Clifford Mann, Immediate Past President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “Cardiff University and Welsh Government should be congratulated for recognising the value of emergency medicine in general and the importance of rigour and academic validity in particular. This course will go a long way in ensuring that emergency medicine is seen as an attractive, long-term career for newly qualified doctors, and that the Welsh NHS is equipped with high quality and readily available emergency care for all patients.”

Welsh Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething AM, said: “I’m really pleased to officially launch this new degree programme, which will help students acquire advanced knowledge and a range of technical skills relevant to emergency medicine. It will also provide Year 4 Medical Students with a solid grounding in acute care, preparing them for a future career as doctors in Emergency Medicine.

“Training our very best and brightest medical students to reach the highest standard of excellence in emergency medicine will be key in creating a cohort of future doctors and leaders in this field...”

“I hope the new intercalated degree programme being launched today will encourage students to make Wales their first choice for training, development and career aspiration; further demonstration that Wales is a great place to Train, Work and Live.”

Vaughan Gething AM Welsh Health Secretary

“Today’s launch marks the end of a large amount of work putting the new programme together, but the start of a very exciting time for the medical school here at Cardiff University.”

The addition of the Emergency Pre-hospital and Immediate Care intercalated BSc is the latest development in the C21 curriculum, which ensures that students benefit from a Cardiff University medical degree with a modernised curriculum with more small group teaching, earlier patient contact and increasing responsibility under supervision to make better doctors, based on best available scientific and educational evidence.

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