Developing undergraduate medical education: Report from APM Special Interest Forum meeting. 

Thirty Consultants and 15 medical students met in Cambridge in late February to reform the APM undergraduate medical education SIF.

A keynote address from Dr Diana Wood, Cambridge Clinical Dean, gave the national context of the challenges and opportunities for medical education in the 21st Century. She reminded us that Sir William Osler regarded teaching medical students as “the most useful and important part of my work”.

Delegates’ presentations concerning current teaching in their medical schools encouraged us with accounts from some of real progress and reassured us with accounts from others of real struggles to secure curricular time and resources. In an atmosphere of honesty and mutual support, discussion followed of how we might negotiate with our schools and the wide range of teaching methods employed. The importance of ensuring that students learn from patients was emphasised, while acknowledging the challenges for Palliative Care, especially in larger schools.

Delegates’ presentations of their education research stimulated discussion of measurement instruments and the need for multi-school studies. The final session started work on revising the 2006 APM curriculum for undergraduate medical education: we agreed to map it onto “Tomorrow’s Doctors”, taking into account recent changes in policy and practice. A working party will send out a first draft for consultation later this year.

A very welcome outcome of the day was the formation of an APM group for medical students and junior doctors, now formally agreed by the APM Executive. There are plans for reps in every school, a presence on the APM website and a day conference in 2014. Dan Knights This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is leading this group.

The next meeting of the SIF, in Liverpool on Thursday April 3rd 2014, will focus on teaching methods: an opportunity for us all to develop the wide range of teaching skills we need. Plus of course to network and support each other in what at times can be a lonely task to develop teaching in our schools. This will be open to anyone interested in medical student teaching: please let Stephen Barclay This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or John Ellershaw This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. know if you would like to be added to our email list.