Education Ramblings

The PULSE initiative

First of all i would like to apologize.

Last week I promised a follow-on from the care-home classification, however due to a few reasons, that post will be extracted from my noggin for next week.

This weeks primary care related ramblings takes a cue from a colleagues piece of work. In terms of conflicts of interest, while I don’t have direct involvement with this project, I do work for the unit that is organising and funding the event. I hope that suffices the relevant niceties and means we can mosey onto the meaty topic of students. Specifically medical students and being even more specific, medical students with an interest in primary care.

The Primary care at the University of Leeds student Experience (PULSE – do not confuse with the primary care newspaper PULSEtoday) is an initiative now in its second year aimed to “engage, inform and enthuse medical students, by demonstrating the wide variety of career options available within general practice.”1

This culminated last year with a well received conference, showcased by the Student Lancet via this article.

This year a repeat conference, planned on 26th-27th November (Sat and Sun) in Leeds with notable guest speakers such as Prof. Trisha Greenhalgh (Professor of GP and Primary Care and author of over 8 books and a multitude of peer-reviewed journal articles.), Dr Richard Smith (former editor of the BMJ) and Dr James Gray (GP and Medical Director of East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust.)

The conference which draws parallels from the RCGP annual conference which originally sparked its creation will also showcase abstracts and posters by medical students from all over the country.

Primary care has recently taken a bashing in terms of prospects of a career. With the uncertainty of the governments plans with the NHS and commissioning, and changes in workload, bureaucracy and ongoing demands, there is no doubt that applications to GP from medical students has dwindled. Some would say that the hospital/GP career path goes through phases and after the past few years of over-subscription that now is the time for the swing to shift, and the roundabout to turn.

I personally feel that any attempt to highlight and educate people about the positives of a career and life in GP is worthwhile and hope that some medical student out there reading this blog ( I wonder if any but who knows) may feel the same. If so have a look at the conference page, and if not, or  not a student, still have a look, as you will see an example of how people are still championing what is still one the best careers going (biased opinion I will admit, but hey I love my job..despite the governments attempts to change my mind on a yearly basis!)


References and stuff

1. P.U.L.S.E mission statement










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