First I would like to warmly thank all the panel of the Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education for their kind support and help offered towards my MSc course.
I am very pleased to say that I have successfully completed eight modules, which will qualify me to obtain the postgraduate Diploma in advanced gynaecological Endoscopy at Surrey University.
At present I have been given the choice of either to exit and obtain my Diploma or to proceed with the last two modules towards a full MSc in the subject. I am currently looking for a clinical proposal for the MSc thesis.
The course was an outstanding and stimulating study environment with state of the art facilities at the Minimal Access Therapy Training Unit (MATTU) in Guilford. The MATTU is a renowned Centre at national and international level for gynaecology endoscopy providing world-class facilities to train future minimally access surgeons.
This course has provided me with a fundamental tool to continue my professional and personal development in my chosen area of interest in benign gynaecology diseases.
It has offered me access to the most up to date minimally invasive treatment methods for a wide range of gynaecological diseases. The achievement of this renowned Master Degree at the University of Surrey, which ranks one of the top six universities in the UK, has empowered my CV and will improve my chances of getting a consultant job in benign gynaecology surgery following completion of my training. The combination between learning the evidence-based practice in endoscopy and achieving high quality surgical skills has improved my work place performance. The clinical as well as the academic components of the MSc were easily transferable elements to my day-to-day practice. It will also enable me to set up new services in gynaecological endoscopy field confidently and safely, which will maintain and rejuvenate the existing services. I have extensively learned the principles of medical research methodology and applied statistics. These were vital skills for my continuous professional development and weighing new medical evidence.
I would not hesitate to recommend this course to other colleagues with interest in laparoscopic gynaecological surgery and minimal invasive therapy. However due to a variety of reasons one being the course expenses there is currently no entry for new applicants, something that might change in the future.
Over the past twelve months I have completed the final stage of my Masters in Clinical Education through Plymouth University. This was the final part of study which I started as an F2 and has included a wide range of topics including the evidence base behind how we train healthcare professionals, simulation, assessment methodology and teaching styles.
The Masters part of the course has been the first time that I have undertaken primary education research. The experience has been highly useful and very informative, especially as my previous experience of medical research has been very quantitative and therefore undertaking qualitative research has been a very new experience.
My Masters project examined the role that remediation plays in undergraduate medical students. Remediation is the process by which students who are struggling to achieve a required level of competence are supported to meet the required standard. However, the process is delivered very differently across different organisations in the UK and despite significant investment there is very limited evidence as to what the outcomes of different remediation interventions are. Much of the research that has been published examines the impact on performance in exams, rather than on the individuals themselves.
I therefore designed and undertook a research project which examined the impact that remediation had on individual medical students, trying to understand their experiences in order to improve the process and understand the impact that remediation had on their motivation to learn and subsequent performance.
Undertaking primary research is a very useful skill to have as a clinician and having an in-depth understanding of medical education is hugely advantageous both as a current trainee and as someone who hopes to be involved in training doctors and other healthcare professionals in the future. Obtaining a Masters in Clinical Education helps to improve competitiveness at future Consultant interviews too.
I’d highly recommend the course. The team are supportive and there is excellent expertise to tap into during the programme to develop medical education knowledge and skills. The qualification at the end is also internationally recognised and highly useful for career development.
Having previously completed a Post-Graduate diploma, I undertook the Masters component of the University of Bath Sports and Exercise Medicine distance learning course.
Following a 4000-word dissertation and Viva Voce examination I graduated with Merit.
The Masters component of the Sports and Exercise Medicine qualification was built around the acquisition and execution of research skills. Following an online research skills course ,the main educational component was built around undertaking a project submission and ethics proposal.
I selected an Internal Supervisor from the University of Bath and a local Surgeon to act as a Co-supervisor. The study was built around my previous work with University level rowers and I assessed the prevalence and risk factors associated with the symptom of hip pain. For this, I undertook a questionnaire assessment and biomechanical evaluation of rowing technique.
Following a proforma, I constructed a study protocol and subsequent ethics proposal. These were reviewed, with corrections and amendments, by both supervisors before departmental review. Full ethics clearance was required prior to any data collection. Each stage was guided by close contact with my supervisor and the numerous online resources available through the Bath University portal.
Following completion of the data collection (which took me 6 months) the final write-up is in a scientific paper format. The word limit is 4000 words. I was then required to sit a Viva Voce exam of 40 minutes, with my Internal Supervisor and one further University of Bath academic who was not involved in my study.
Though there were times when the burden of this project was quite great, I really enjoyed the process. The results were presented at the regional registrar research event, for which I won 1st prize. As a consequence, I will be presenting the paper at the British Orthopeadic Association conference. I am in the process of preparing the manuscripts for 3 journal submissions.
By gaining a Masters qualification I have been able to undertake a period of full-time research at the University of Exeter, with the hope of completing an MD. The skills I acquired as part of the MSc have been a vital step in the skills required for NIHR funding and NHS Ethics proposals. Furthermore, there is no doubt that the extra qualification can only help in the increasingly competitive fellowship and Consultant job market.
If you have a research interest, or even just a research idea that you would like to dedicate time to, then I would definitely advise undertaking a supervised MSc. There were challenging moments. Trying to balance this with a busy job resulted in numerous evening and weekend working. It is much more work than undertaking small scale studies at work, and writing them up for papers. However, if you wish to undertake grant applications in the future, or even a higher degree, the MSc provides the foundation skills required to make this possible.
This was a completion of my Certificate and Diploma in Mountain Medicine. It was completed through the University of Leicester, although it is worth noting that accreditation of this course is moving now from the University of Leicester to the Royal College of Surgeons.
The course has developed a number of skills from the offset, but I will focus on the MSc for which I received funding. Broadly speaking, my learning can be divided into knowledge based and skill based.
The subject of my dissertation related to the educational environment and how this impacted the overall learning experience. In undertaking this, my knowledge in the areas of medical education have inevitably come on leaps and bounds. I have developed a very real interest in this as I have learnt more, identifying more questions and ideas as the process has evolved. Every area that I touched upon for example - what is the educational environment, what is distance learning, what is blended learning, how and why should we measure global course evaluations, where do the differences lie in evaluating postgraduate courses from undergraduate - taught me more and more about this field. It is worth mentioning that the research methods component should not be overlooked.
From a skills perspective it was interesting to step away from a more practical focus on the Diploma and Certificate and develop a more academic focus. This process involved development and refinement of a research question – and of all the skills I think this was the most “worthwhile”. In undertaking research, it doesn’t matter how well you ask the question and write it up, if you don’t ask the right question you have failed at the first hurdle. Other skills obviously included the statistical analysis and data processing and dealing with long-distance supervision and autonomy in research that I have not previously had experience of.
As far as the career benefits, it was a higher degree that adds value to my CV and application form for the rest of my career, and I hope will add some weight when I say with all sincerity that I enjoy both research and teaching.
The “quality of the content” is harder to rate because much of the emphasis of this component was on the research and dissertation aspects. However, what I did learn using the resources that were available e.g. library, online tutorials and research methods lectures were of a decent standard.
Would I recommend this? I would wholeheartedly recommend the Certificate/ Diploma of Mountain Medicine to anyone. The Masters requires much more independence and has a higher research focus and so if it is going to be undertaken, then needs to be done by the right person for the right reasons. For me, I felt it was thoroughly worthwhile and really enjoyed it.
Bursary support from the Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education team enabled me to complete an MSc in Management with a specialization in Health Systems. This was a distance learning course completed with Liverpool University over 3 years.
Since experiencing frustrations with NHS management and the deficit of involved medics I have developed an increasing interest in healthcare management and service provision. Following involvement in a number of management projects the opportunity to extend my interest via an MBA was enabled by the Peninsula bursary support. This course enabled me to acquire new knowledge and skills in an area largely neglected during clinical training.
I studied core management concepts followed by specialization in healthcare systems. I have gained an understanding of organizational strategy, financial analysis, leadership and human resources. Specific healthcare related modules such as healthcare systems, health economics and healthcare finance have put these topics in the complex context of healthcare management. Weekly assignments and discussion topics have added to my knowledge of management theories. For my final dissertation I applied this knowledge in a practical analysis of my unit to better understand factors that contribute to organizational resistance to change. I now better understand the evidence behind management research and how it can or can’t be applied to healthcare systems.
This course has armed me with a greater confidence and an enhanced skill set ready for the next phase of my career. I am better equipped to lead healthcare teams and manage healthcare systems. The course has helped me develop personally and professionally in an increasingly complex and fragmented environment. Some of the new skills and knowledge have been immediately applicable as assignments could be applied to my immediate NHS environment. I believe these skills will enhance my capability as a Doctor and Manager to better deliver care.
Liverpool University is a globally respected institution and an accredited management school (AACSB). Its 100% online programme is designed to develop your skills as a business leader. Although the online delivery lacks of face to face teaching it is compensated for by enabling access to a respected international faculty, diverse global colleagues and complete flexibility. The online delivery is delivered in a modular fashion enabling me to organize the course around clinical commitments and exit exams. It is a tough course demanding regular commitment, however standards are high and feedback is prompt and fair. The content was clear and concise with weekly handouts and reading requirements made readily available. Tutors, peers and student support were readily accessible. Online access to the Liverpool Library facilitated management research and literature reviews for assignments.
I would recommend this course for medics with an interest in management. Although challenging at times I feel that it has been a worthwhile route to achieving goals that I would not have otherwise attained. In addition, it has enhanced my understanding of the complexities of managing healthcare systems and better prepared me to address future organizational challenges.
This was completed with kind funding from Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education. After completion of the course I was also lucky enough to receive the Dean’s prize for the highest combined marks for the certificate and diploma stages. Below is my report to Cardiff for publication in their newsletter.
I would highly recommend the course to other colleagues for four reasons:
- It makes you a more self-aware teacher and enables you to teach, utilising teaching theory and the most up to date evidence.
- It leads to a postgraduate qualification.
- This particular course is very flexible and can be undertaken during clinical training (you just need to be organized!).
- Despite the plethora of medical education courses, aside from Dundee the Cardiff course is the most well established.
During medical school I received some basic training in teaching, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I felt formal postgraduate training in medical education would significantly benefit my practice when starting out as a junior doctor. To this end, in my final year of medical school I decided to take the plunge and enrol on the Cardiff distance-learning programme knowing I would have to juggle both my new clinical responsibilities as an F1 and the course.
I found the course was both flexible and well supported. I was able to organise my time to fully participate in the learning activities and wiki, and prepare for my assignments, whilst working full time with an active on-call. Because the course is well structured and organised, I was able to plan the workload around busy times such as on-call nights. The tutors (and wiki group members) were understanding when the busy clinical workload meant a week or two of relative dormancy on my part!
By the end of completing the certificate, I felt compelled to continue onto the diploma during my F2 year. During both stages I found that being a distance learner does not mean distance from other people. The wiki provided a platform for enthusiastic interaction between peers and staff alike. Because many of the same tutors from the certificate taught on the diploma we also had continuity and familiarity.
The diploma has been very beneficial for my teaching. I have been able to plan teaching more effectively and implement educational theory to improve my teaching practises. The course was influential when I designed and implemented my own teaching programme for medical students with my colleagues, which received very positive feedback. Due to the insights provided by the course I was able to fully integrate the evaluation of the course to dynamically modify the sessions for the students.
During the certificate and diploma stages the role and rationale of assessment in training has also become clearer. The diploma has provided me with the skills to tangibly improve my teaching effectiveness and become more reflective regarding teaching experiences (both teaching and being taught!). The diploma provides a platform of knowledge and experience that enables us to pursue future professional educational roles and responsibilities throughout the diverse spectrum of medical education.