Recent Submissions

  • Using the making Visible the ImpaCT Of Research (VICTOR) questionnaire to evaluate the benefits of a fellowship programme for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals

    Hogg, Julie (2023-10-05)
    Background: There is increasing emphasis in the UK on developing a nurse, midwife and allied health professional (NMAHP) workforce that conducts research. Training for clinical academic careers is provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). However, the low number of successful applicants suggested there were barriers to achieving this. The Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Led Research (CNMR) launched a fellowship programme in 2016 to backfill two days a week of NMAHPs' time for up to a year, to give them time to make competitive applications to the NIHR. Aim: To report a study evaluating the CNMR fellowship programme. Discussion: The making Visible the ImpaCT Of Research (VICTOR) tool ( Cooke et al 2019 ) was developed to describe the organisational impact of research. The 2016-17 CNMR fellows completed VICTOR and their responses were analysed using a framework approach. The analysis found the main benefits of participating in the programme were protected time for research, opportunities to develop collaborations, increasing intra- and inter-professional awareness of NMAHPs' research, peer-reviewed publications, and conference presentations. Challenges included a lack of support from line managers, limited value placed on NMAHPs' research and failure to backfill posts. Conclusion: There were some challenges with the fellowship programme, but all recipients found it to be a positive experience and undertook significant scholarly activity. Implications for practice: A contractual agreement must be established to foster committed partnerships between higher education institutions (HEIs) and the NHS. HEIs and the NHS should conduct frank discussions of the challenges encountered in fellowship programmes. Positive initiatives and outcomes in tertiary education and clinical settings should be shared to improve fellows' experiences and enhance partnerships between HEIs and the NHS. Job descriptions should include time allocation to review fellowship candidates' applications regardless of outcome. The showcasing of research successes and the benefits of NMAHP research must evolve to secure organisational 'buy in', which is the precursor to widening access to clinical academic pathways.
  • Role of clinical attachments in psychiatry for international medical graduates to enhance recruitment and retention in the NHS

    Rajpara, Milap; Chand, Parveen; Majumder, Pallab (2023-08-07)
    Aims and method: There are numerous challenges in the recruitment and retention of the medical workforce in psychiatry. This mixed-methods study examined the role of psychiatry clinical attachments for international medical graduates (IMGs) to enhance recruitment and retention. An online survey was launched to capture views and perceptions of IMGs about clinical attachments. The quantitative and qualitative responses were analysed to elicit findings. Results: In total, 92 responses were received, with respondents commonly from India, Pakistan and Egypt. Respondents were mostly aged 25-34, with ≥3 years of psychiatry experience. Over 80% expressed strong interest in completing a psychiatry clinical attachment and believed it would support career progression. Qualitative data indicated that IMGs hoped to gain clinical experience and understanding of the National Health Service (NHS). They wished for a clearer, simpler process for clinical attachments. Clinical implications: Clinical attachment can be mutually beneficial, providing IMGs with opportunity to confidently start their psychiatry career in the UK and enhance medical recruitment in mental health services across the NHS.
  • Simulation for teaching on racial microaggressions and bystander intervention - A theory-based guide for health profession education

    Dada, Taiwo (2023-07-03)
    Microaggressions are words or behaviour that "subtly and unconsciously express a prejudiced attitude", and racial microaggressions express these attitudes towards people from racial minority groups. The "Bystander Effect" is when the presence of other people means that an individual is less likely to offer assistance or get involved in a situation - bystander intervention training aims to inform about the best ways to avoid this, equipping students with the necessary strategies. In health profession education, teaching on microaggressions and bystander intervention can be done with the use of simulation. Simulated patients (SPs) and environments would be the most appropriate modality of simulation to use, as roleplay would be central. This guide focuses on how to use simulation for teaching on racial microaggressions and bystander training for healthcare students including tips on preparing the students and SPs, planning for the implementation of the simulation training, setting ground rules, showing different scenarios, checking student understanding throughout, using debriefs and course evaluation feedback, and signposting students to available support afterwards. These are topics which are particularly relevant because there have been calls in recent years for healthcare education to be more inclusive and representative of current issues, as the COVID-19 pandemic and resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement have highlighted curriculum gaps. So teaching students about this early is a good start, and simulation is an effective teaching method to help with this.
  • Virtual interviewing for graduate medical education recruitment and selection: A BEME systematic review: BEME Guide No. 80

    Uraiby, Hussain
    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic caused graduate medical education (GME) programs to pivot to virtual interviews (VIs) for recruitment and selection. This systematic review synthesizes the rapidly expanding evidence base on VIs, providing insights into preferred formats, strengths, and weaknesses. Methods: PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, ERIC, PsycINFO, MedEdPublish, and Google Scholar were searched from 1 January 2012 to 21 February 2022. Two authors independently screened titles, abstracts, full texts, performed data extraction, and assessed risk of bias using the Medical Education Research Quality Instrument. Findings were reported according to Best Evidence in Medical Education guidance. Results: One hundred ten studies were included. The majority (97%) were from North America. Fourteen were conducted before COVID-19 and 96 during the pandemic. Studies involved both medical students applying to residencies (61%) and residents applying to fellowships (39%). Surgical specialties were more represented than other specialties. Applicants preferred VI days that lasted 4-6 h, with three to five individual interviews (15-20 min each), with virtual tours and opportunities to connect with current faculty and trainees. Satisfaction with VIs was high, though both applicants and programs found VIs inferior to in-person interviews for assessing 'fit.' Confidence in ranking applicants and programs was decreased. Stakeholders universally noted significant cost and time savings with VIs, as well as equity gains and reduced carbon footprint due to eliminating travel. Conclusions: The use of VIs for GME recruitment and selection has accelerated rapidly. The findings of this review offer early insights that can guide future practice, policy, and research.
  • Developing channel-based online teaching

    Edwards, Sarah; Baker, Karmel Abu (2022-06-15)
  • Fostering intrinsic motivation in remote undergraduate histopathology education

    Uraiby, Hussain; Grafton-Clarke, Ciaran; McCarthy, Mark (2021-08-24)
    Aims: The levels of abstraction, vast vocabulary and high cognitive load present significant challenges in undergraduate histopathology education. Self-determination theory describes three psychological needs which promote intrinsic motivation. This paper describes, evaluates and justifies a remotely conducted, post-COVID-19 histopathology placement designed to foster intrinsic motivation. Methods: 90 fourth-year medical students took part in combined synchronous and asynchronous remote placements integrating virtual microscopy into complete patient narratives through Google Classroom, culminating in remote, simulated multidisciplinary team meeting sessions allowing participants to vote on 'red flag' signs and symptoms, investigations, histological diagnoses, staging and management of simulated virtual patients. The placement was designed to foster autonomy, competence and relatedness, generating authenticity, transdisciplinary integration and clinical relevance. A postpositivistic evaluation was undertaken with a validated preplacement and postplacement questionnaire capturing quantitative and qualitative data. Results: There was a significant (p<0.001) improvement in interest, confidence and competence in histopathology. Clinical integration and relevance, access to interactive resources and collaborative learning promoted engagement and sustainability post-COVID-19. Barriers to online engagement included participant lack of confidence and self-awareness in front of peers. Conclusions: Fostering autonomy, competence and relatedness in post-COVID-19, remote educational designs can promote intrinsic motivation and authentic educational experiences. Ensuring transdisciplinary clinical integration, the appropriate use of novel technology and a focus on patient narratives can underpin the relevance of undergraduate histopathology education. The presentation of normal and diseased tissue in this way can serve as an important mode for the acquisition and application of clinically relevant knowledge expected of graduates.
  • Presentation design and delivery to improve knowledge translation in a remote world

    Roland, Damian (2022-10-06)
    The practical dissemination of new knowledge is not given adequate attention despite large investment in undertaking high-quality research and the desire for evidence-based practice. It is important that those involved in knowledge translation and continuing medical education understand the fundamental principles of effective presentations, whether at scientific conferences, workshops or group teaching sessions. The switch to remote presentations has made this a more challenging endeavour. We describe established presentation techniques that improve knowledge translation and how to use them in both face-to-face and remote settings.
  • Effectiveness of a web-based virtual journal club to promote medical education (Web-Ed): protocol of a multicentre pragmatic randomised trial

    Murugesu, Nilaani (2022-06-16)
    Introduction A journal club (JC) is a commonly used medical educational tool. Videoconferencing technology can facilitate the delivery of JCs, however, there remains no evidence on the role of web-based virtual JCs in promoting the acquisition and retention of medical knowledge. The Web-Ed trial aims to evaluate the educational benefits, feasibility and acceptability of web-based virtual JCs compared with traditional face-to-face ones. Methods and analysis Web-Ed is a multicentre pragmatic parallel-group randomised trial across teaching hospitals within the UK National Health Service (NHS). We will enrol qualified doctors or medical students who are >18 years old, proficient in English and able to use online videoconferencing software. Block randomisation will be used to allocate participants in 1:1 ratio to either intervention group. Both groups will be presented with the same educational material and follow a standardised JC structure hosted by nominated moderators and medical faculty members. The primary outcome is the difference in participants’ knowledge acquisition and retention 7 days after the JCs evaluated using standardised multiple-choice questions. We will report secondarily on the feasibility and acceptability of the JCs using Likert scale questionnaires. Assuming a 30% drop-out rate, we aim to enrol 75 participants to detect a 20% improvement in knowledge acquisition at 80% power and 5% significance. We will report using mean difference or risk ratio with 95% CIs and assess significance using parametric/non-parametric testing. Where relevant, we will adjust for predetermined characteristics (age, grade of training and session duration) using multivariate regression analyses. Ethics and dissemination Web-Ed was designed by doctors in training to address their learning needs and evaluate the preferred mode of learning. The trial results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at relevant scientific conferences. The trial has been approved by the NHS Health Regulation Authority (21/HRA/3361).
  • Live streaming to sustain clinical learning

    Grafton-Clarke, Ciaran; Uraiby, Hussain; Abraham, Shalin; Kirtley, Joanne; Xu, Gang; McCarthy, Mark
    Background The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the need to develop teaching innovations that provide safe, authentic clinical encounters which facilitate experiential learning. In tandem with the dissemination of teleconsultation and online teaching, this pilot study describes, evaluates and justifies a multi-camera live-streaming teaching session to medical students from the clinical environment. Approach Multiple audio and video inputs capturing an outpatient clinic setting were routed through Open Broadcast Software (OBS) to create a customised feed streamed to remote learners through a videoconferencing platform. Sessions were conducted between September 2020 and March 2021. Twelve students sequentially interacted with a patient who held an iPad. Higher quality Go-Pro cameras captured the scene, allowing students to view the consultation from the patient and doctor's perspective. A consultant then conducted a ‘gold standard’ patient consultation observed by students. A faculty member remotely facilitated the session, providing pre-clinic teaching and debriefing. The equipment required with costing for a standard and low-cost version is described, as well as a set-up schematic and overview of ideal conditions and barriers encountered during trials. Evaluation All students completed a post-participation questionnaire, rating the overall quality of the sessions as 9.7/10. The quality of online facilitation, utility of observing peers' and consultant interaction with the patient, opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and availability of multiple camera angles were particularly valued by students. Implications This innovation permits an authentic clinical interaction to be experienced by multiple students remotely, promoting equitable access to high-quality teaching, while maintaining the safety of students and patients.
  • Paediatric and adult congenital cardiology education and training in Europe

    Bu'Lock, Frances (2022)
    Background: Limited data exist on training of European paediatric and adult congenital cardiologists. Methods: A structured and approved questionnaire was circulated to national delegates of Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology in 33 European countries. Results: Delegates from 30 countries (91%) responded. Paediatric cardiology was not recognised as a distinct speciality by the respective ministry of Health in seven countries (23%). Twenty countries (67%) have formally accredited paediatric cardiology training programmes, seven (23%) have substantial informal (not accredited or certified) training, and three (10%) have very limited or no programme. Twenty-two countries have a curriculum. Twelve countries have a national training director. There was one paediatric cardiology centre per 2.66 million population (range 0.87-9.64 million), one cardiac surgical centre per 4.73 million population (range 1.63-10.72 million), and one training centre per 4.29 million population (range 1.63-10.72 million population). The median number of paediatric cardiology fellows per training programme was 4 (range 1-17), and duration of training was 3 years (range 2-5 years). An exit examination in paediatric cardiology was conducted in 16 countries (53%) and certification provided by 20 countries (67%). Paediatric cardiologist number is affected by gross domestic product (R2 = 0.41). Conclusion: Training varies markedly across European countries. Although formal fellowship programmes exist in many countries, several countries have informal training or no training. Only a minority of countries provide both exit examination and certification. Harmonisation of training and standardisation of exit examination and certification could reduce variation in training thereby promoting high-quality care by European congenital cardiologists.
  • A case series review of patients with Thrombocytopenia and Absent-Radii syndrome (TARS) and their management during pregnancy

    Halperin, Daniel; Myers, Bethan (2021)
    Bleeding diatheses due to platelet-related disorders can present challenges to treating clinicians, especially in the context of peri- and post-partum patients in the obstetric setting. Thrombocytopenia and Absent-Radii syndrome (TARS) is an inherited disorder characterized by reduced bone marrow platelet production, skeletal deformities affecting radii and other limbs; cardiac, renal, and other heterogeneous anomalies may occur. It is caused by the co-inheritance of a microdeletion and a nucleotide polymorphism in the RBM8A gene on chromosome 1. Bleeding phenotype is more severe than platelet numbers which might predict especially in infants but improves with age. There is minimal literature regarding the impact of pregnancy and puerperium. We describe the management of three pregnancies in the hematology-obstetrics clinic. As platelet counts normally decrease through pregnancy, close monitoring is required in TARS. No major bleeding was seen antenatally but two required platelet transfusions during labor. No other treatment definitely improves bleeding, although case reports of steroids claim variable success. Tranexamic acid may be helpful, and thrombopoietin agonists represent a potential future option.
  • Demographics, distribution and experiences of UK clinical academic trainees using GMC NTS Survey data

    Graham-Brown, Matthew; Carr, Sue (2022-02-16)
    Involvement in research plays an integral role in the delivery of high-quality patient care, benefitting doctors, patients and employers. It is important that access to clinical academic training opportunities are inclusive and equitable. To better understand the academic trainee population, distribution of academic posts and their reported experience of clinical training, we analysed 53 477 anonymous responses from General Medical Council databases and the 2019 National Training Survey. Academic trainees are more likely to be men, and the gender divide begins prior to graduation. There are very low numbers of international medical graduates and less than full-time academic trainees. A small number of UK universities produce a greater prevalence of doctors successfully appointed to academic posts; subsequent academic training also clusters around these institutions. At more senior levels, academic trainees are significantly more likely to be of white ethnicity, although among UK graduates, no ethnicity differences were seen. Foundation academic trainees report a poorer experience of some aspects of their clinical training placements, with high workloads reported by all academic trainees. Our work highlights important disparities in the demographics of the UK clinical academic trainee population and raises concerns that certain groups of doctors face barriers accessing and progressing in UK academic training pathways.
  • Impact of changing medical workforce demographics in renal medicine over 7 years: Analysis of GMC national trainee survey data

    Graham-Brown, Matthew; Carr, Sue (2021)
    Increasing numbers of doctors in training are taking career breaks, with burnout cited as a potential cause. This study analysed General Medical Council (GMC) national training survey data (renal medicine) to understand the impacts of changing workforce demographics on trainee outcomes and wellbeing. Increasing proportions of female, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), and international medical graduates are entering the workforce. Specialty exam pass rates have fallen and are lower for BAME and international medical graduates in renal medicine. Time to complete higher specialty training has increased for female trainees. Self-reported burnout rates for renal trainees were higher than other medical specialties and highest for male BAME trainees. Burnout was only partially mitigated by less-than-full-time working, but had no impact on progression, sick-leave or time out of training. It is important to recognise changes to the workforce and proactively plan to effectively support a more diverse group of trainees, to enable them to succeed and reduce differential attainment.
  • Medical education and training within congenital cardiology: current global status and future directions in a post COVID-19 world

    Bu'Lock, Frances (2022)
    Despite enormous strides in our field with respect to patient care, there has been surprisingly limited dialogue on how to train and educate the next generation of congenital cardiologists. This paper reviews the current status of training and evolving developments in medical education pertinent to congenital cardiology. The adoption of competency-based medical education has been lauded as a robust framework for contemporary medical education over the last two decades. However, inconsistencies in frameworks across different jurisdictions remain, and bridging gaps between competency frameworks and clinical practice has proved challenging. Entrustable professional activities have been proposed as a solution, but integration of such activities into busy clinical cardiology practices will present its own challenges. Consequently, this pivot towards a more structured approach to medical education necessitates the widespread availability of appropriately trained medical educationalists, a development that will better inform curriculum development, instructional design, and assessment. Differentiation between superficial and deep learning, the vital role of rich formative feedback and coaching, should guide our trainees to become self-regulated learners, capable of critical reasoning yet retaining an awareness of uncertainty and ambiguity. Furthermore, disruptive innovations such as "technology enhanced learning" may be leveraged to improve education, especially for trainees from low- and middle-income countries. Each of these initiatives will require resources, widespread advocacy and raised awareness, and publication of supporting data, and so it is especially gratifying that Cardiology in the Young has fostered a progressive approach, agreeing to publish one or two articles in each journal issue in this domain.
  • Distributed autonomous organization of learning: future structure for health professions education institutions

    Roland, Damian (JMIR Publications, 2022-01-04)
    Current health professions education (HPE) institutions are based on an assembly-line hierarchical structure. The last decade has witnessed the advent of sophisticated networks allowing the exchange of information and educational assets. Blockchain provides an ideal data management framework that can support high-order applications such as learning systems and credentialing in an open and a distributed fashion. These system management characteristics enable the creation of a distributed autonomous organization of learning (DAOL). This new type of organization allows for the creation of decentralized adaptive competency curricula, simplification of credentialing and certification, leveling of information asymmetry among educational market stakeholders, assuring alignment with societal priorities, and supporting equity and transparency.
  • Endoscopic surgical simulation using low-fidelity and virtual reality transurethral resection simulators in urology simulation boot camp course: trainees feedback assessment study

    Berridge, Christopher; Kailavasan, Mithun (2021-08)
    Objectives: The objective of our study was to study trainees' feedback and rating of models for training transurethral resection of bladder lesions (TURBT) and prostate (TURP) during simulation. Methods: The study was performed during the ''Transurethral resection (TUR) module" at the boot camp held in 2019. Prior to the course, all trainees were required to evaluate their experience in performing TURBT and TURP procedures. Trainees simulated resection on two different models; low-fidelity tissue model (Samed, GmBH, Dresden, Germany) and virtual reality simulator (TURPMentor, 3D Systems, Littleton, US). Following the completion of the module, trainees completed a questionnaire using a 5-point Likert scale to evaluate their assessment of the models for surgical training. Results: In total, 174 simulation assessments were performed by 56 trainees (Samed Bladder-40, Prostate-45, TURPMentor Bladder-51, Prostate-37). All trainees reported that they had performed < 50 TUR procedures. The Samed model median scores were for appearance (4/5), texture (5/5), feel (5/5) and conductibility (5/5). The TURPMentor median score was for appearance (4/5), texture and feel (4/5) and conductibility (4/5). The most common criticism of the Samed model was that it failed to mimic bleeding. In contrast, trainees felt that the TURPMentor haptic feedback was inadequate to allow for close resection and did not calibrate movements accurately. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that both forms of simulators (low-fidelity and virtual reality) were rated highly by urology trainees and improve their confidence in performing transurethral resection and in fact complement each other in providing lower tract endoscopic resection simulation.
  • Exploring junior doctor morale in a UK hospital

    Singh, Raunak; Kirtley, Joanne; Minhas, Jatinder S; Lakhani, Dilesh; Carr, Sue (2019-12)
    Background: The importance of junior doctor morale is increasingly being recognised. We aimed to identify and explore the factors affecting junior doctor morale in a UK teaching hospital. Methods: We carried out an online survey asking junior doctors to rate their morale, rank the top five factors that positively affected morale and offer free-text comments. Results: Nine hundred and forty three junior doctors were approached, 402 (42.6%) responded. Overall morale was rated 6 [interquartile range (IQR): 5-8], and how valued 6 (IQR: 4-8), supported 7 (IQR: 6-9) and autonomous 7 (IQR: 6-8) they felt [median ratings using a scale of 0 (low)-10 (high)]. When comparing the four domains of feeling supported, feeling valued, having autonomy and overall morale, respondents felt most supported overall (n = 402, χ2 = 85.6, p < 0.0001). Key themes were identified: team working and relationships, feedback, training and education, resources, wellbeing and pastoral support, staffing and workload, senior clinician support, and autonomy. The most common factors positively affecting morale were 'feeling part of a team' (66.4%) and 'being recognised for good practice' (56.7%). Conclusion: We identified a number of diverse themes affecting junior doctor morale. Doctors felt more supported than valued or autonomous, with complex relationships between these domains.