Lakeside Healthcare is training the next generation of GPs by welcoming hundreds of medical students to its practices each year.
Hubs across our Group offer placements to students from both Cambridge and Leicester Universities. Around 240 students visit our practices each year, from day placements to up to two weeks' duration depending on their experience. The programme is carefully scheduled to allow GP trainers to share expertise while minimising impact on clinical workloads.
This year Stamford GP Sian Dronfield was awarded Cambridge University GP Society's Outstanding Tutor Award, while Drs Ajay Patel, Claire Murphy and Mitesh Thanki from New Queen Street, St Neots and Yaxley respectively, were also nominated by students.
Dr Patel said: 'General Practice blends theoretical knowledge with practical diagnosis, clinical assessment and decision making. Placements give students experience and they learn to think constructively. Due to Covid they have also been taught how to do remote consultations, which is a huge skill. The whole practice is involved, it is something we look forward to and our patients are very positive about being part of student training.'
The placements are overseen by Dr Andy Ward, Lakeside's Director of Education and Training. He said: 'We minimise the impact on patient care because that is our core business but education is also hugely important. Across the Group lots of people are involved in post-graduate training and teaching.
'As well as gaining experience students also contribute to our practices, for example, helping with our homeless project and flu vaccines, doing audits and looking at areas of improvement. In time I am sure the programme will translate into medical students wanting to work with us and I am hoping that will expand to other disciplines, including nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy students as well, forming a "conveyor belt" of talent" for our organisation.'
Student feedback is always very positive. One said: 'Everyone at Lakeside has been fantastic and set the bar for quality.' Another added: 'The teaching provided by all healthcare professionals was very good, they were all very enthusiastic and willing to teach and I learnt a lot from them. A lot of support was provided by the clinical team during teaching, clinics and in general.'