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I would like to share my experience of working in medical education as an associate specialist. I have been working in Wales and in care of the elderly medicine for the last 20 years. I have been interested in medical education since I finished my PhD qualification from Cardiff University in 1993. I’ve participated in the postgraduate teaching programme in the geriatrics medicine department in University Hospital of Wales since then. Once I began working on the new contract for SAS doctors in 2008, I applied to be a clinical supervisor for trainee doctors and an educational supervisor.
I applied to Cardiff University for an honorary lecturer post in 2014 and I have been working closely with my colleagues in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, my place of work, to provide a comprehensive teaching programme for the undergraduate medical students, addressing their learning outcomes according to the C21 teaching project.
What advice would I pass on?
Planning is key if you’re considering becoming involved in medical education alongside your day job. I negotiated my job plan to allow for the time needed for my new educational responsibilities. As part of these responsibilities, you need to participate in clinical examination of undergraduate medical students and be ready to work with other colleagues in the department to address the educational needs of the students. It’s also very useful to participate in improvement workshops or seminars, which enhance your medical education skills.
These responsibilities can be negotiated in your job plan and recognised time as supported programmed activities (SPA) should be allocated. I think that the participation of SAS Doctors in teaching and in the process of medical education is an important step forward for career progression. Furthermore, it can provide the universities with extra teaching staff who can participate in teaching and examinations.
Why get involved in medical education?
SAS Doctors have good skills and recognised clinical experience and are therefore valuable assets in medical education. Personally, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time so far in medical education and I’d encourage my SAS doctor colleagues to be involved with their local universities and other scientific institutions and to apply to be a clinical teacher. What do you get out of it? It will keep your morale high and give a new, interesting dimension to your job. I have been doing it for the last 10 years and was awarded the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award (BEST Award) in 2016.
I enjoy teaching medical students and I find the process of feeding back to the students about their progress within their teaching programme, interesting and important. I also enjoy working with my other colleagues regarding the design of the teaching programme and making sure that this programme is going to meet the learning outcomes for the students.
Furthermore, I enjoy medical research and quality improvement projects. The university is happy to receive proposals from the teachers and allocates medical students to work on these projects (SCC).
Dr Amer Jafar is a SAS doctor working in the Royal Gwent Hospital
What advice would you give to those considering working in medical education?
It isn't hard as such, however, the amount of faithfulness fundamental is preposterous. It is an exceptionally broadened adventure, and you need to offer ten to fifteen years of your completely created life just to finish up your appropriate instruction. In that rationale, restorative instruction is genuinely hard.
Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information with all of us, really helped me a lot. Keep helping others by sharing information.
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