Broomfield Hospital has been given exceptional satisfaction ratings by medical students from Anglia Ruskin University.
The students gave their cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal placements an average overall score of 4.8/5.
In response to 14 questions about the quality of the teaching, the organisation of the placement, and the clinical experience across the three placements, Broomfield was given scores of 4.7/5 and above in 38 of 42 categories.
Dr Ed Hope, clinical teaching fellow at Broomfield Hospital, said: “Our satisfaction score is testament to ARU and all the team here.”
Anglia Ruskin’s medical school opened in September 2018 and offers students the opportunity to get hands-on hospital experience in their first year of study. Traditionally, medical students only begin hospital placements in year three.
Ed Hope explained the thinking behind students’ early contact with patients: “We get a group of seven or eight students with us three afternoons a week and they get two hours with a consultant and one of us fellows. We’re here to inspire them but also show them where it all leads to.
“When I studied, my early clinical exposure was sitting in the corner of GP surgery and there wasn’t a lot of input."
Ed and his colleagues have been impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of the young medics.
“As teaching fellows we’re used to teaching third, fourth and fifth years who would have had at least two years of medicine. We thought we’d need to lower the level we present at but the standards the consultants expect of the students means they have raised their game.
“One of the reasons our students are so good is how competitive it is to get into med school. Most of them have some experience in a hospital or are really focused through their A-levels. They bring that attitude into a clinical setting.
“A lot of the first and second year can be quite dry, very technical and scientific and you can often lose sight of its relevance.
“The learning facilities at ARU are top notch but what they can’t see at the med school is patients. Thankfully we have very kind patients willing to volunteer their time so students can take histories and make examinations. It’s as much to inspire the students as it is to ground the things they’re learning about in reality.
“Mr Stephen Hughes, one of the emergency consultants here, was very passionate about getting people hands on so they can see that value in what they’re aiming towards, and see the relevance in what they’re learning. We’ve had really good feedback, and you can see it in the students’ faces.
“What I like about what we’re doing here is the flexibility. On one occasion we had a patient consent for the students to see a pacemaker fitted. It wasn’t something we planned - the consultant in charge invited them to watch. The students were excited to be in scrubs and in the theatre setting.
“The ethos of the team leading at ARU is that we’ve got these great hospitals in the area to use, and we’re here to facilitate that.”
Medicine first years Nora Alali and Anna Corriero were enthusiastic about the benefits of interacting with patients.
“Every time we’ve come to Broomfield, we’ve seen patients. We have first-hand clinical experience with patients and we can take that back to our studies. It broadens our experience,” said Nora.
Anna added: “We are very welcome here and although we are at the bottom of the medical chain, we feel like people are interested in our education and the patients are always willing to help us learn more.”