Dr Amudha Poobalan, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition

In a globalised health care, medical students face an increasingly diverse patient populations after they graduate. With globalisation, health issues transcend national boundaries and are influenced by circumstances and experiences in other countries. In this context of global health care interdependence, how do we prepare our students to appreciate the variations in health care delivery and practice; and instil the ethical values of health care, which is a fundamental attribute to graduating doctors? While undergraduate medical education strives to prepare our students for this challenge, most of that preparation happens in a class room setting with lectures.

Context

In a globalised health care, medical students face an increasingly diverse patient populations after they graduate. With globalisation, health issues transcend national boundaries and are influenced by circumstances and experiences in other countries. In this context of global health care interdependence, how do we prepare our students to appreciate the variations in health care delivery and practice; and instil the ethical values of health care, which is a fundamental attribute to graduating doctors? While undergraduate medical education strives to prepare our students for this challenge, most of that preparation happens in a class room setting with lectures.

Activity

In 2017, I set up a 'exposure abroad' programme with Manipal University, India. With this initiative, every year, up to 4 medical students spend 4 to 6 weeks in the other country with unique opportunities for clinical observation and exposure to academic activities. For Manipal students, these include reflecting on clinical care pathways, tele-medicine, cancer registry, multi-disciplinary team (MDT) clinics, attending Student Staff liaison meetings, Student Select Component course (SSC) to engage in team working, poster and oral presentation. For Aberdeen students, it involves being part of community outreach programmes, health initiatives in slums and tribal areas in India.

Evaluation

The feedback from students has been extremely positive that we had a team from Manipal University visit us last year and the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition (SMMSN) have signed a specific agreement with Manipal university to continue the 'Exposure abroad' initiative in collaboration with the MBChB programme leads here (Profs Rona Patey and Alan Dennison in Aberdeen) and in Manipal (Dr Raghu and Prof Pragna Rao in Manipal).

Impact

Manipal University is keen to explore some of the good teaching practices that we follow here at Aberdeen to be incorporated into their medical curriculum. Although early stages, 2 initiatives that are being explored. These are Student Select Component (SSC) course (Myself, UoA and Dr Suma Nair, Manipal) and Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme in Anatomy teaching (Dr A Venkatesh, UoA and Dr Mangala Pai, Manipal). With Dr Stephanie Stone and Dr Julianne Moore, I have developed a workshop for our medical students before they go abroad for electives to prepare them for exposure abroad.

Dissemination

The qualitative work I did with Dr Stone and Dr Moore has been presented as a poster at the Medical Education conference in Aberdeen Nov (2018). It will be submitted to Scottish Medical Education conference (SMEC) and the 11th Academic Development symposium, UoA in March. This is also being written up for an academic education journal.