A new cross-curricular teaching project, developed this year jointly by the Primary Care Undergraduate Teaching Team and the University's Department of Psychiatry, has been highly praised. This project was designed to give 5th year students greater confidence and experience when consulting with patients who live with psychiatric illness. Using actors as simulated patients, students are guided through complex and difficult scenarios by teaching staff from both departments.
The project was runner up in this year’s Denis O’Leary Medical Educator Awards, administered by the Oxford Centre for Medical Education. The award scheme was established after a generous donation by the family of Dr Denis O’Leary, a former consultant psychiatrist and tutor at Oxford who died in 2019.
The prize judges commented that this new teaching package was, “a beautifully designed intervention to support medical students’ patient communication skills, particularly in psychiatry.” They went on to praise the “impressive collaboration” between colleagues in primary care, communication skills and psychiatry and were particularly impressed with the way patients had been involved in the design phase of the scheme.
Communication is key to psychiatric consultations and it has been a privilege to develop this new approach to psychiatric communication skills in collaboration with colleagues in primary care.
Associate Professor Kate Saunders, Director of Medical Studies, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.
The primary care side of this project has been lead by Dr Ruth Wilson, Academic Lead for Communication Skills Teaching. Ruth commented, “It has been hugely enjoyable working with colleagues from other disciplines and the students have benefited greatly – student feedback from the scheme has been consistently excellent”.
Find out more about undergraduate teaching in the Department of Psychiatry.