FD Podcast 1

There has never been a more important time to influence the future of General Practice and the Department of Primary Care and Public Health wants to work with you to achieve this.

With responsibility for General Practice teaching as part of our undergraduate programme, the department works closely with the medical school, GPs and their Practices throughout the six years students are with us. During this time, students learn from observation of GP consultations but also through (by their third year of the degree) running their own consultations alongside their supervising GP. They are additionally taught in alternative community settings and also in department teaching sessions.

The Department provides full teacher training and refresher courses for GPs and is always ready to recruit new enthusiastic and dynamic GP teachers to teach students. The course is free if you commit to teaching students in your practice.

The majority of the following teaching options involve hosting and teaching medical students within a GP Practice setting:

Course details

Year 1: Patients, Communities and Healthcare (PCH 1)

Course Lead: Dr Viral Thakerar

PCH overview

This is a community-based course for year one medical students at Imperial College. It runs from October until March. The aim of the course is for students to learn about and integrate the biological, psychological and social aspects of health, illness and disease, and relate these to patient experiences and health outcomes. This is the first contact students will have with patients at medical school.

Groups of 6 or 12 students will spend 8 Thursdays in a GP Practice over the course of the year between October and March.

You can choose the size of the group (6 or 12 students) and the number of groups (one or two).

There are four core activities: patient conversations, GP clinics, a community survey project and group tutorials.

There is flexibility as to how these are done.

Practices must commit to the full year (Oct to March).

Fee information

£6240 for 6 students every other Thursday
£12,480 for 6 students every Thursday
£12,480 for 12 students every other Thursday
£24,960 for 12 students every Thursday

Year 2: Patients, Communities and Healthcare (PCH 2)

Course Lead: Dr Viral Thakerar

PCH overview

This is a new community-based module for Year 2 medical students at Imperial College from November 2020 until March 2021. The aim is for students to further develop skills in applying the biopsychosocial model to patient care, to practice taking histories and to develop health coaching skills in preparation for their clinical placements in year 3 and build on their skills learnt in primary care during PCH in year 1.

Groups of 6 or 12 students will spend 5 Tuesdays in a GP Practice over the course of the year between November and March.

There are four core activities: health coaching, GP teaching clinics, a community collaboration project and group tutorials. There is flexibility as to when during the day these are done.

This is a brand new course for 2020 and will roll out to all year 2 MBBS students.

Practices must commit to the full year (Nov to March).

Fee information

£3,900 for 6 students every other Tuesday
£7,800 for 6 students every Tuesday
£7,800 for 12 students every other Tuesday
£15,600 for 12 students every Tuesday

Year 3: Medicine in the Community Apprenticeship (MICA)

Course Lead: Dr Nina Dutta

Graphic of medical related objectsThe MICA course aims to provide students with a longitudinal learning experience where they will spend 10 weeks as an ‘apprentice’ in a General Practice. The aim is to provide an immersive experience where students will learn about all aspects of life as a GP.

As part of the course students are required to run their own independent parallel consulting clinics, working in their own consulting room alongside their supervising GP holding their own surgery. They will spend some time visiting patients at home and carrying out a Community Action Project (CAP) to deliver an intervention which aims to make a significant and sustainable difference to the local community – this project is presented at the end of term.

Teaching commitment

A pair of students will be allocated to you for 7 sessions a week over a 10 week period.

On a weekly basis this consists of 4 independent clinics (one of which may be an ‘experience’ session), 1 tutorial, 1 visiting session and 1 session for CAP project time.

Students will attend an ‘experience session’ within a specialised clinic arranged either within your Practice or centrally by the medical school. These may consist of the students spending time with other healthcare professionals in the Practice (for e.g. nurses, HCAs, pharmacists) or joining a specialised clinic held at the Practice (e.g. minor surgery, Diabetes, COPD, Asthma).

In addition students will carry out home visits once per week to patients with long term conditions. Tutorials once per week will also be delivered, topics for these will be linked to the clinical skills and methods teaching that the students receive once per week in a hospital setting.

Fee Information

Term 1 - 9 weeks £8190
Term 2 - 8 weeks £7280
Term 3 - 8 weeks £7280

Year 5: General Practice and Primary Health Care (GPPHC)

Course Lead: Dr Ali Dhankot

GP talking to patient Our GPPHC course teaches students to apply a patient-centred approach to illness. The students observe the close doctor-patient relationship and the roles of other healthcare professionals in general practice.

GPPHC is the ideal opportunity for the students to develop their consultation and clinical skills. They also learn about the roles and responsibilities of a GP and other allied health professionals, e.g. Health Visitor, Pharmacist, and District Nurse. The attachment begins with an introduction and ends with a debrief in the Department. Twenty-one sessions are spent in the practice. Two further sessions in the Department concentrate on consultation skills, using role play with an actor and video feedback and cancer care in the community.

We would like to be students involved with all the different aspects of a practice and its staff

Teaching commitment

The GPPHC course runs twelve times per year and you may teach on as many, or as little of these as you wish. Students are completely submerged into practice life for the three weeks and the support and encouragement they receive from you and your practice team will be essential. You will discuss personal learning objectives, ensure your student achieves essential activities including DOPS, provide them with a patient with chronic illness to complete patient project and deliver one to one teaching.

Most importantly, students will independently consult under the supervision of you and time must be identified for them to receive feedback.

Fee information

Hosting a student for three weeks, 12 times in a year - £16,380 for a full year or £1365 per rotation

Year 6: General Practice Student Assistantship (GPSA)

Course Lead: Dr Sian Powell

The Year 6 General Practice Student Assistantship aims to prepare students towards graduation by developing their skills in consulting and managing patients independently, under close supervision. Students should be given opportunities to become fully immersed in the work and life of the practice, as they work alongside their supervising GP. They should hold their own clinics so that they can improve their consulting and decision-making processes whilst dealing with everyday primary care problems, and start to learn the art of managing risk and uncertainty, all of which underpin high-quality general practice.

The course assessments are designed to support this learning in practice and facilitate giving feedback and reflection.

Teaching commitment

The GPSA course runs six times per year from August to February and you may teach on as many, or as few of these as you wish. Practices for this attachment are based outside of London only.

Students attend a four-week residential placement, with the first and last day taking place at the department for introductory and debrief tutorials. In some cases, students stay with their GP Teachers or someone from the practice, or they may arrange their own accommodation as many take the opportunity to stay at home.

Whilst on the placement, students will need to complete a number of their own GP clinics (under supervision), complete a brief clinical audit as well as two case-based discussions, and two mini-clinical evaluation exercises.

Fee information

1 student for 4 weeks in a UK practice outside London
£2,080 per rotation (non-residential)
£2,680 per rotation (residential)

Year 6: GP Specialty Choice Placements (SCPs)

Promoting Health Equity - Year 5


Doctors and medical students often treat the most vulnerable groups in society without knowledge of the wider context of social exclusion and marginalisation, and the difficulties individuals may have in accessing health care and support. Furthermore, doctors and medical students often have not received training in communication & health promotion skills that aim to empower individuals and communities. Through this SCP, students are immersed in community settings which currently include primary care clinics for the homeless, a refugee clinic, homeless hostels and a local community centre. They will take on meaningful roles and gain understanding of the health and social needs of people from marginalised groups, with potential for developing skills in inter-professional learning, community & capacity building, quality improvement, health promotion and leadership. In several cases, students taking this SCP have been inspired to pursue a healthcare career working with vulnerable patient groups.

Teaching commitment:

The SCP runs several times per year between July and March and you can choose how many sessions you are able to teach. Depending on your preference, students can spend as little as half a day or instead several whole days within your setting observing and interacting with patients and/or learning from what you do. If you work in a relevant community setting and think you may be able to offer a student placement during the year please do get in touch.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the different teaching options please contact our Faculty Development Manager Nadine Engineer.

Getting involved

We’ll help train you in readiness to teach and in most cases will need to arrange a practice visit from our Faculty Development Manager to discuss your teaching experience and the learning environment in the Practice.  Once approved as one of our teachers and teaching practices you will then be able to host Imperial College medical students on their GP placements.

We can also offer you an opportunity to have your teaching observed and if you do start teaching for us we will also pay your Practice to help offset any loss of service costs. We are committed to providing you with ongoing lifelong teaching skills which will keep you up to date with current teaching methodologies and as such once you have become one of our teachers you would have access to our Additional Skills courses run throughout the year and our Annual Teacher’s Conference all of which are free to attend.

Support and training for GP teachers

TaCTIC: Training Course for Teachers at Imperial College

An interactive one-day course designed to give you a mix of theory and practical guidance on developing your teaching skills that can be applied in the workplace environment.  It is suitable for new teachers who would like to start teaching medical students in their GP practice or for existing Imperial GP teachers who would like to update their skills. The afternoon part of the course we use current medical students as part of small group teaching/tutorial sessions with real-life cases experienced recently by the students.

The course is generic and is suitable for all clinicians and non-clinicians wishing to gain overall teaching skills.

Our popular accredited Training Course for Teachers at Imperial College (TaCTIC) is now digital. We will be running this as a condensed online course via Zoom as follows:

Wednesday 11 November 2020 – click here for more info and to book

Wednesday 13 January 2021 click here for more info and to book

This course provides theory and practical advice on developing your existing teaching skills, and will enable you to start teaching medical students for Imperial College London.

We also offer Additional Skills courses for existing Imperial College GP teachers.

Additional Skills for teachers at Imperial College (ASTIC)

  • The Mindful Clinician: Yoga & mindfulness as a clinical educator
  • Coaching for clinical teachers
  • Teaching when time is short
  • Giving effective feedback
  • Teaching challenging students and challenging excellent students
  • Reflective Practice

If you are interested in any of these courses please contact our Faculty Development Manager Nadine Engineer dates for these courses vary throughout the year.