Mastering Leadership in Medical Training: A Comprehensive Guide

Meducate Academy ACEs emphasise collaboration, innovation, and excellence in the dynamic field of medical training.

Discover practical insights for effective leadership in medical training with a focus on key concepts like the SMARTER model, team management styles, and situational leadership. Our guide discusses the importance of self-reflection, pacing in leadership, and applying a model based on environment, behaviour, beliefs, values, identity, and vision. Emphasizing collaboration, innovation, and excellence in the dynamic field of medical training, the guide outlines a commitment to empowerment and transformative leadership. Exploring leadership styles, it concludes with an overview of directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating, offering detailed behavioural approaches. A valuable resource for healthcare professionals navigating the complexities of leadership in medical training.

In my extensive experience collaborating with various organizations and overseeing my personal ventures, such as managing one of the largest Muay Thai groups in the UK and founding the Meducate Academy, I’ve come to understand the essence of effective leadership. Leading from the front, actively participating, and providing support are pivotal elements in successful leadership—a stark contrast to organizations merely paying lip service to teamwork.

Frustration often arose when working for teams that didn’t align actions with their words. This discontent led me to prefer entrepreneurial pursuits, where I could both work for myself and empower others. Many have asked me about the qualities of a good leader, prompting me to reflect on and document my fundamental leadership principles.

Here’s a concise overview of key ideas I apply daily. Your insights and experiences on these concepts are highly encouraged:

“When the best leader’s work is done, people say, ‘We did it ourselves’.”

Embrace the SMARTER Model:

· Specific
· Measurable
· Achievable
· Realistic
· Timely
· Ecology
· Resources

Recognize the 4 team management styles, with the ultimate aim of becoming a situational leader:

· A boss has conscripts; a leader has recruits.
· A boss wields power; a leader holds influence.
· A boss says “I will”; a leader says “we will.”
· A boss gets people to do things; a leader inspires them to want to do things.
· A boss is obeyed; a leader is followed.

Reflect on your leadership role in life:

· Identify existing leadership roles.
· Consider where you serve as a role model.
· Define what aspect of leadership appeals to you.
· Explore why you want to be a leader and what it will bring you.

Understand the importance of pacing in leadership, acknowledging and aligning with others’ starting points.

Pacing in Organizations Leading in Organizations:

· Manager – Leader

o Seeks control. – Facilitates change
o Keeps procedures going. – Creates new procedures
o Does things right. – Does the right things
o Mainly at the neurological level of skill. – At the neurological level of identity
o Administration. – Innovation
o Get people to do things. – Get people to want to do things by appealing to their beliefs and identity

When thinking about leadership and team building I tend toward using the following model:

ENVIRONMENT

Current Circumstances: Engaged in the dynamic field of medical training, navigating the challenges and opportunities that arise within this evolving landscape.

Workplace Details and Colleagues: Collaborating with a diverse team of healthcare professionals, educators, and administrators. Thriving in an environment that values innovation, teamwork, and excellence in medical education.

Daily Routine and Impact on Others: Diligently shaping the medical training landscape. My contributions positively impact colleagues by fostering a culture of continuous learning, effective collaboration, and patient-centred care.

BEHAVIOR AND CAPABILITIES

Skills and Appreciated Qualities: Demonstrate proficiency in your relevant skills, with a keen ability to specialise.

Recognized Strengths and Praised Attributes: Acknowledged for Specific Strengths, including Strategic Planning, and Decision-making. Colleagues appreciate my Attributes, e.g., empathy that enhances team dynamics and elevates the workplace culture.

Communication Skills: Possess strong verbal and written communication skills, effectively conveying complex medical concepts to diverse audiences. Recognized for fostering open communication and active listening within the team.

BELIEFS AND VALUES

Importance of Leadership: Hold a deep conviction regarding the transformative power of leadership in advancing medical training and healthcare. Believe that strong leadership is instrumental in creating a positive impact on both professionals and patient outcomes.

Desired Accomplishments: Aspire to your Leadership Goals, e.g., enhance medical curriculum, and foster interdisciplinary collaboration to contribute significantly to the advancement of medical education. Committed to achieving tangible outcomes that reflect excellence and innovation.

Beliefs About Good Leadership: Adhere to the philosophy that good leadership involves your Leadership Philosophy, e.g., empowering others, leading by example. Value collaborative decision-making, inclusivity, and a visionary approach to navigating challenges in the medical field.

IDENTITY

Self-Perception as a Leader: Embrace my role as a leader with humility, recognizing the privilege and responsibility it entails. Strive to be an authentic, approachable leader who leads with integrity and empathy.

Alignment with Personal Values and Lifestyle: Align leadership practices with your values, e.g., integrity, and continuous learning. Integrate leadership seamlessly into your lifestyle, emphasizing the importance of a balanced and purposeful approach.

Preferred Leadership Models: Draw inspiration from leadership models that prioritize your Preferred Leadership Models, e.g., servant leadership, and transformational leadership. Continuously seek to evolve and refine your leadership style to meet the evolving needs of the medical training landscape.

VISION

Motivations for Leadership: Motivated by the opportunity to contribute to the future of healthcare through impactful leadership in medical training. Aspire to inspire and nurture the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Vision Fuel Sources: Driven by a vision fueled by:

· Personal development: Constantly evolving as a leader and learner.
· Relationships: Building strong, collaborative partnerships within and beyond the medical community.
· Family: Striving for a healthcare system that prioritizes the well-being of families and communities.
· Work: Envisioning a workplace that values innovation, inclusivity, and continuous improvement.
· Health: Committed to promoting health and wellness within the medical community.
· Leisure: Finding inspiration and rejuvenation in moments of leisure to sustain passion and commitment.

This leadership CV encapsulates a commitment to mastering leadership within the intricate realm of medical training, emphasizing collaboration, empowerment, and a transformative approach to leadership.

Exploring Leadership Styles and Behaviours

1. Directing: Providing Specific Instructions and Close Supervision

In the directing leadership style, a leader takes charge by offering precise instructions and closely overseeing tasks. This approach is often employed in situations where clarity and control are paramount. A directing leader provides a roadmap for team members, leaving little room for interpretation. This style is effective in high-stakes scenarios where immediate decisions and actions are crucial.

Behavioural Approach: Directive

· Structure: Clearly outline tasks, goals, and expectations.
· Supervise: Monitor progress closely, ensuring adherence to guidelines.
· Control: Establish a controlled environment, maintaining order and discipline.

2. Coaching: Directing, Supervising, Explaining, Soliciting Suggestions, and Supporting Progress

Coaching involves a more interactive leadership style, where the leader not only provides guidance but actively engages with team members. This approach includes explaining decisions, seeking input, and offering support for personal and professional growth. The coaching style is effective in developing team members’ skills and fostering a collaborative environment.

Behavioural Approach: Directive and Supportive

· Structure: Provide a framework while encouraging input.
· Supervise: Offer guidance and support, ensuring progress.
· Listen: Actively engage with team members, seeking and valuing their input.
· Encourage: Support individual and team progress, praising achievements.

3. Supporting: Facilitating and Supporting Subordinates’ Efforts

The supporting leadership style involves empowering team members by offering guidance and facilitating their efforts. This approach values collaboration and shared responsibility for decision-making. Leaders who adopt this style create an environment where individuals feel supported and encouraged to contribute their ideas and skills.

Behavioural Approach: Supportive

· Praise: Acknowledge and appreciate team members’ contributions.
· Facilitate: Enable collaboration and provide necessary resources.
· Listen: Foster open communication, valuing diverse perspectives.
· Encourage: Cultivate a supportive atmosphere, promoting shared responsibility.

4. Delegating: Turning Over Responsibility and Problem-Solving

Delegating is a leadership style where the leader entrusts team members with responsibilities and problem-solving tasks. This approach relies on the expertise and autonomy of team members, promoting a sense of ownership. Leaders who adopt a delegating style empower their team to take initiative and showcase their skills.

Behavioural Approach: Supportive

· Praise: Recognize achievements resulting from delegated responsibilities.
· Facilitate: Ensure team members have the necessary resources and support.
· Listen: Encourage open communication for effective problem-solving.
· Encourage: Reinforce a culture of initiative and autonomy.

Avoiding Seagull Management: Consistent Commitment and Engagement

Seagull management, characterized by swooping in, creating chaos, and departing, is detrimental to effective leadership. Leaders should steer clear of this approach and instead focus on consistent commitment and engagement. Effective leadership requires ongoing dedication to understanding team dynamics, fostering a positive work environment, and providing continuous support. By avoiding the pitfalls of seagull management, leaders can establish trust, build strong teams, and achieve sustained success in their endeavours.

If you’re a Clinical Lead and wish to discuss working with Meducate Academy Ltd., we would love to give you a demonstration and a workshop at your institution.

Please contact: bobspour@meducateacademy.com or on 07870 611850

Empowering Medical Education: Meducate Academy’s 2023 Achievements

Celebrating a dynamic year marked by unprecedented success for Meducate Academy, our journey unfolds with dedicated professionals actively sharing expertise with diverse students, from Physician Associates to Pharmacists. At the heart of our triumphs lies The Pharmacy Show, a pinnacle event in the pharmaceutical landscape, propelling us to be educational partners once again in 2024. Our impactful Consultation and Clinical Skills Workshops, collaborations with esteemed institutions, and a partnership with Cliniskills underscore our commitment to upskilling Pharmacists. As we bid farewell to 2023, stay tuned for undisclosed projects set to revolutionize Pharmacy in 2024. Join us on this empowering journey, and let’s make 2024 another year of triumph and excellence in medical education. Read on…

It has been an exceptionally dynamic period for Meducate Academy, marking our busiest year to date. The thriving momentum is not only a cause for celebration within the company but also for the dedicated professionals collaborating with us. Over the past months, our experts have been actively sharing their wealth of knowledge with a diverse group of students, ranging from Physician Associates, Nurses, and Medical Students to recently added Pharmacists.

In the context of our recent endeavours, it is noteworthy to highlight the resounding success we experienced at The Pharmacy Show held at the NEC. The positive response was so overwhelming that we have been invited to be educational partners once again in 2024, with an even larger venue for our Practical, Clinical, and Consultation Forum. This time, the forum unfolded in a 30-seater theatre space right in the heart of the NEC, as captured in the attached video.

Meducate Academy Teaching at The Pharmacy Show 2023 at the NEC BirminghamThe Pharmacy Show, held at the NEC Birmingham is a hallmark event in the pharmaceutical landscape and has become a resounding success for us, prompting our invitation to serve as educational partners once again in 2024. The overwhelming response has necessitated a move to an even grander venue to accommodate our expanding Practical, Clinical, and Consultation Forum.

In the previous edition, our Forum unfolded within the dynamic ambience of a 30-seater theatre nestled at the heart of the NEC, as vividly captured in the attached video. The success of this endeavour has propelled us to secure an even larger space for the upcoming event, ensuring an immersive and enriching experience for all participants.

Speaking of success, our significant achievements at The Pharmacy Show underscore its position as the UK’s foremost provider of education and communication for community pharmacists. Boasting a legacy of over 40 years, The Pharmacy Show is synonymous with industry excellence and is celebrated for its influential publications such as Pharmacy Magazine, Training Matters, P3Pharmacy, Independent Community Pharmacists, and Counterintelligence Plus.

Notably, The Pharmacy Show extends its reach into the digital realm through The Pharmacy Network (TPN), a robust platform with a staggering 100,000 registered individuals. Participating in this show is not just a presence; it is a testament to the honour bestowed upon us as contributors to a community that values knowledge dissemination and professional development. As we gear up for the 2024 edition, the prospect of engaging with a broader audience and contributing to the growth of the pharmaceutical landscape fills us with anticipation and pride.

Our Consultation and Clinical Skills Workshops garnered immense interest, with some sessions even selling out. The feedback received from participants was outstanding, leading to invitations to conduct workshops at the BPSA Eastern Region conference at Nottingham University, where student feedback was similarly commendable.

A notable attendee at The Pharmacy Show was Ruth Edwards, the Head of the Pharmacy School, with whom we have established a working relationship at Wolverhampton University School of Pharmacy. This collaboration extends to assisting in their Undergraduate program and contributing to their OSCEs in the upcoming year.

Our involvement in Clinical and Consultation skills training aligns with the recent government directive mandating the upskilling of Pharmacists from 2024 onward. This initiative has already commenced at the University of Birmingham and Wolverhampton University, and we are enthusiastic about sustaining these relationships into the future.

A significant project on our agenda involves a partnership with Cliniskills, providing Clinical Examination Skills Training for Community Pharmacists. This fully funded, free-to-access resource, tailored for community pharmacists, aims to enhance their ability to assess patients, treat common conditions, and identify high-risk presentations. The positive reception at venues in Birmingham and Bristol has us eagerly anticipating future sessions in Manchester and Slough.

A substantial portion of our work involves collaboration with Physician Associates at Chester University, led by James Ennis. The continuous growth of our relationship with students is a testament to the dedication of the teaching team, which remained unwavering even throughout the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The last Physician Associate cohort at The University of Wolverhampton 2023

While we bid farewell to the PA program at Wolverhampton University, we celebrate the ongoing collaborations with various institutions, leading to new projects and partnerships. Noteworthy among these is our involvement with Dr Gareth Nye at Chester University, who teaches Bio-med students, and our support for the new Medical School at Chester, actively recruiting students for their MBChB course.

Our commitment to supporting diverse medical education extends to specialized areas, such as Obs and Gynae and Male Intimate Examinations. A recent project at Hastings House GP practice showcased our expertise, benefiting Paramedics, Pharmacists, and a Physician Associate keen on keeping their skills up to date.

A special mention goes to University College Birmingham, where we were invited by the Head of School Marina Kendrick to conduct a communication and consultation skills workshop with Undergraduate Nurses. The engaged participation of students made for a memorable and productive day.

As the year draws to a close, we express our gratitude to our dedicated team of ACEs, whose belief and commitment have been instrumental in Meducate Academy’s success. We extend our thanks to the students who have actively contributed to refining our skills and to our valued customers, both new and old.

As we look forward to the new year, we anticipate exciting developments, including undisclosed projects set to impact Pharmacy in 2024. Stay tuned for more information in January 2024, and here’s to another year of success and growth. Wishing you all a Happy New Year, and let’s do it again in 2024!

If you’re a Clinical Lead and wish to discuss working with Meducate Academy Ltd., we would love to give you a demonstration and a workshop at your institution.

Please contact: bobspour@meducateacademy.com or on 07870 611850

Mastering The Skill of Listening: A Key To Patient-Centred Care

Image showing Meducate Academy teaching consultation skills to a group of pharmacists during their Clinical Pharmaceutical Team Meeting.
Meducate Academy Teaching Consultation Skills to Pharmacists at their Clinical Pharmaceutical Team Meeting

In this article, we explore the role of ACEs in healthcare education and the importance of effective communication skills. We discuss the impact of active listening on building rapport with patients and avoiding miscommunication. Drawing insights from experienced pharmacists, we address the challenges of difficult conversations in healthcare. We also highlight the wisdom of Plutarch and the practicality of Anatol Rapoport’s rules for navigating such conversations. By emphasizing the collaborative nature of communication and its life-saving potential, we stress the significance of effective listening skills. ACEs and healthcare professionals are encouraged to prioritize listening as a foundational skill and utilize tools like the Rappoport Rules for improved communication.

Image of Agenda of Pharmaceutical Team Meeting at Dudley College of Technology
Pharmaceutical Team Meeting at Dudley College of Technology Agenda featuring Meducate Academy

How often do you hear what someone is saying but fail to truly listen? How frequently do you find yourself waiting for the person to finish speaking so that you can assert your own thoughts, often with a prepared speech centered around your own agenda, without genuinely addressing the original question? These are the subjects I intend to explore in my writing this month.

As ACEs (Associate Clinical Educators), it is necessary and important that we provide accurate feedback on students’ technical competencies. The feedback should, of course, be relevant and precise, enabling the students to develop as safe practitioners. Another essential aspect of our role is to assist students in developing effective communication tools to establish rapport and gain the trust of simulated patients. This becomes particularly relevant when students embark on their journey to master the art of effective history-taking, marking their initial exploration of the realm of effective communication.

I always emphasize to students that the essence of communication lies in the response one receives. This is crucial because failing to genuinely listen to the patient can result in miscommunication. Each party brings their own agenda to the conversation – the clinician and the patient have their respective goals. It is no wonder that communication can be seen as something of a dark art. Therefore, the role of the ACE is to carefully guide the students through the process.

Always remember that a conversation is a partnership. It is a collaborative process, led by the patients’ ideas, concerns, and expectations, with the clinician and the patient working together.

This topic emerged during a recent Clinical Pharmaceutical Team Meeting held at Dudley College, where my colleague Mark Reynolds and I were invited to speak about Enhancing Consultation Skills to a group of highly experienced Pharmacists. In addition to discussing generic communication skills, we presented a couple of scenarios illustrating poor and effective communication and engaged in discussions on the points raised.

One of the key themes that emerged from the pharmacists was the common problem of patients demanding specific drugs, such as antibiotics, and how to handle such situations. Another recurrent theme was the instances of angry patients being informed about the cost of prescriptions. In other words, the main focus of the discussion revolved around managing difficult conversations.

Effectively navigating a difficult conversation requires active listening, and most of the attendees were eager to hear our thoughts on this matter. Like any skill, it demands constant practice and simply paying attention to the conversation. However, finding the time to listen is challenging in today’s busy pharmacy or GP surgery, where restrictions are imposed on the duration of patient interactions. Nonetheless, learning this skill is vital.

In order to build rapport and gather important information, we allow the patient to talk and express their needs. This is of utmost importance.

Greek philosopher Plutarch, Greek philosopher philosopher, writer, magistrate and priest
Plutarch, Greek philosopher, writer, magistrate, and priest who lived during AD 46, extensively wrote about the subject of listening

Plutarch, the philosopher, writer, magistrate, and priest who lived during AD 46, extensively wrote about the subject of listening. It might be useful to briefly examine his views, as expressed in one of his letters to a young man about to embark on his studies. He discusses different types of listeners: the Lazy Listener, the Scornful Listener, the Excited Listener, and the overly confident listener.

The lazy listener is someone who only listens for information that interests them and shows no interest in what the speaker is saying. They wait for their turn to expand on their own interests, paying little attention to the speaker’s main topic of conversation. The scornful listener is judgmental of alternative ideas or beliefs, as they adhere strictly to their own set of values and beliefs. Plutarch notes that judgment is, in fact, a distraction of the mind, and these types of listeners tend to develop a distorted view of what is actually being said. It is better to have an open mind, he says – a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. We must not let the speaker’s performance distract us from paying attention. Otherwise, we will quickly forget our purpose and potentially miss valuable information. Finally, Plutarch talks about the Overconfident Listener, who assumes they know what the speaker means right from the start and fails to listen for subtle, sometimes hidden, cues in the conversation. When this happens, it is important to step back and actively listen.

Even Plutarch recognized that a conversation is a collaborative process. The responsibility for the outcome of a conversation rests with the listener and with healthcare professionals. Achieving the correct outcome is crucial, and listening can literally save lives.

Throughout my experience as an actor, comedian, corporate trainer, NLP trainer, and associate clinical educator, I have employed various methods to teach communication skills to students in different fields of study. From armed response teams to salespeople, from actors to presenters, and more recently to physician associates, pharmacists, nurses, and young doctors, the process remains the same: learning to listen first and foremost.

At the recent Team Meeting in Dudley, I extensively discussed the use of Rapoport Rules as a valuable tool for communication skills. I encountered these rules a few years ago and have always wondered why they are not more widely known. Anatol Rapoport, a Russian-born American game theorist, developed a set of rules for handling difficult conversations:

  • Clearly re-express your conversation partner’s position, defining your understanding of what they want. This ensures clarity in the conversation and prevents you from straying off course with your own assumptions.
  • List points of agreement with your partner to develop rapport further.
  • Always mention something you have learned from the person you are talking with, further building agreement.
  • Only then can you proceed to disagree or compromise with the person. You can see how these rules can be helpful when patients hold fixed beliefs about vaccines, antibiotic use, or various other treatment-related ideas.

I encourage you to follow and practice these steps each time you engage in a difficult conversation. If you are an ACE, please be aware of these tools and pass these skills on to students during their history-taking sessions. The positive impact will be appreciated by everyone.

Next month, I will be talking about our work with Newcastle University PA program teaching musculoskeletal (MSK) examinations.

 

If you’re a Pharmacy Clinical Lead and wish to discuss working with Meducate Academy Ltd., we would love to give you a demonstration and a workshop at your institution.

Please contact: bobspour@meducateacademy.com or on 07870 611850

Become an ACE in Medical Education: Free Training Course Available Now!

Do You Want To Be Part Of Our Team?

Are you an Actor, Role-player or retired Clinician who would like to get involved in our ACE training programmes?

We are looking for people with the following attributes

Skills?

Do you have a desire to develop new skills yourself and really make a difference?

Communication?

Do you enjoy the act of communication?

Passion?

Do you have a passion to help students develop their skills?

Are you a medical role-player looking for new opportunities to expand your skills and knowledge? Meducate Academy has the perfect solution – a free Associate Clinical Educator (ACE) training course on the 13th of May 2023

The course will be held at The University of Wolverhampton and will provide attendees with a comprehensive introduction to basic body systems examinations and feedback techniques with the help of experienced clinicians. In addition, drinks, lunch, and a manual to further your knowledge and understanding will be provided on the day.

And this is just the beginning! As an ACE, you will have ongoing training to continue building your practical examination skills and responsibilities to students and clinicians. It’s a challenging and rewarding role that involves working with the same team of clinicians and students over a period of two years or more.

At Meducate Academy, we have been busy developing relationships with institutions across the UK and are keen to find medical role-players who want to expand their portfolio of skills. The ACE training course is just one of the many opportunities available to those looking to advance their careers in medical education.

But what does it mean to be an Associate Clinical Educator? It means being part of a team that is dedicated to providing high-quality education and training to the next generation of healthcare professionals. It means using your knowledge and experience to help students develop the skills they need to succeed in their future careers.

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys working with students, learning new skills, and collaborating with professionals, then the ACE role may be right for you. Check out the videos below to learn more about what it means to be an ACE and the impact you can have on medical education.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to take your career to the next level. Sign up for the ACE training course today and start your journey towards becoming an Associate Clinical Educator. Time is running out – act now!

If you are a Medical Roleplayer and would like to take your skill set to the next level, sign up for our training courses in 2023. Our next one is on May 13th 2023 and it’s free! Give Bob a call on 07870 611850 if you would like more details or want to ask anything about our courses. Or sign up in the below form for more information about the course.

 

The Associate Clinical Educator (ACE) successfully combines the role of the simulated patient and lay teacher involved in the training of health professionals of all kinds. From medical students to physician associates, from dental students to nurses and many, many more.

The ACE is a hands on resource for the student. They provide the student a chance to get quite literally hands on with an experienced simulated patient. It gives the student the opportunity to put into practice the theory they learn in the classroom from tutors and medical textbooks. The opportunity for them to work with a ‘real person’ who can present as a healthy patient or one who has a variety of pathologies.

ACEs are not clinicians, and their backgrounds are varied. Some may have a background in performance and others in teaching. Some are already medical role players, but this is not a requirement. The desire to teach and assist students in order to help them become better and safer clinicians is our chief priority. An ACE should therefore be able to give structured feedback to the student in a way that helps them learn and improve their skill sets.

An ACE of course has their own skill sets to learn too, and with that in mind we are putting a campaign together to recruit new role players and ACEs to the organisation. So, whatever your background, there may be a place in Meducate Academy for you.

We have training programmes that are designed to get you up to speed in no time at all. You will then work alongside our more experienced people to consolidate those skills.

All of our ACEs and roleplayers are self-employed and payment is made by invoice. We pay industry standards and some of our ACEs work most weeks of the year.

We are also on the lookout for experienced clinicians to work alongside our ACEs. Contact us about this very important role.

Good rates, good conditions and a successful and helpful team are waiting for you to join them.

Meet The Team

Meducate Academy group photo of team of associate clinical educators

Based in the West Midlands, Meducate boasts a great mix of Academics and Entrepreneurial people including Clinicians, Lay Educators and others who have been involved in almost 50 years of corporate and business development training.

Our aim is to provide Colleges and Universities that run these educational programmes with teams of highly trained and experienced Clinicians, Clinical Leaders, Associate Clinical Educators (ACE) and Professional Medical Role Players.

Bob Spour

Bob Spour

Training Director

Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman

Finance Director

The Role of Independent Prescribing Course in Enhancing Healthcare Professionals’ Skills

PA students engaging with the interaction between ACEs and Clinicians at Chester University

The Independent Prescribing Course is an essential component of healthcare education, equipping professionals with the skills and knowledge required to prescribe medication safely and effectively. The course covers clinical skills, legal and ethical considerations, and patient care, enhancing the quality of healthcare services provided to patients. This article highlights the significant role of the Independent Prescribing Course in empowering healthcare professionals to take on greater responsibilities in their practice. By preparing professionals to prescribe with confidence, the course contributes to modern healthcare education and practice.

Working as an ACE offers numerous opportunities to collaborate with a diverse group of healthcare professionals, which is one of the most rewarding aspects of this profession, in addition to witnessing students’ success in their exams and progression into becoming skilled clinicians. Although our primary focus has been on Physician Associates, we have recently been granted the privilege of working with Pharmacists and prospective international students who seek admission to the University of Chester’s new MbChb Course.

Our founder, Bob, has been serving as a visiting lecturer at the University of Chester for the past two years and has been entrusted with the responsibility of assisting in the recruitment process of new international medical students. Bob’s duties involve working alongside a medical role-player to evaluate candidates’ ability to communicate effectively with patients who have underlying medical issues. The situation presented to the candidates was not a medical diagnosis but rather a scenario that required them to showcase their problem-solving and rapport-building skills. This task can be challenging even for native English speakers, let alone for those with English as a second language. The interviews were conducted online, which posed a different set of challenges. We are pleased to note that our contribution has been highly appreciated, and the interviews are scheduled to continue for the next two months.

We have also been provided with an opportunity to collaborate with the University of Wolverhampton’s Pharmacy Program, wherein we have supplied ACEs to their current curriculum. Working alongside Pharmacists has been a different kind of challenge as they are expected to have a fundamental understanding of some clinical skills in addition to their ability to prescribe the appropriate medication to patients. Our collaboration with the Clinical Lead, Teresa Dowsing, of the current PA Program and the teaching staff of the Wolverhampton Pharmacy Course has been instrumental in achieving success in this initiative.

We have also been asked to help students prepare for the Independent Prescribing Course, which is another exciting development for us.

Meducate Academy Associated Clinical Educators Greg and Bob working together with clinicians make a formidable teamThe Independent Prescribing Course is a medical education program designed to equip healthcare professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to prescribe medication independently. This course is typically intended for healthcare professionals such as pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists and optometrists who are required to prescribe medication as part of their professional responsibilities.

The Independent Prescribing Course aims to enhance the healthcare professional’s ability to prescribe safely, effectively, and appropriately within their clinical competence. This includes the ability to identify clinical signs and symptoms, diagnose medical conditions, and determine the most appropriate course of treatment.

The course also covers aspects related to the legal and ethical aspects of prescribing medication, such as informed consent, record-keeping, and confidentiality. Upon completing the course, healthcare professionals are eligible to register with the appropriate regulatory body, such as the General Pharmaceutical Council or Nursing and Midwifery Council, as independent prescribers.

The Independent Prescribing Course plays a crucial role in medical education by equipping healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to prescribe medication safely and effectively. This enhances the quality of care provided to patients and enables healthcare professionals to take on greater responsibilities in their practice, contributing to the delivery of high-quality healthcare services.

Despite these recent developments, we also continue to remain committed to working with Physician Associate students at both Chester and Wolverhampton on an ongoing basis.

If you are a Medical Roleplayer and would like to take your skill set to the next level sign up for our training courses in 2023. Our next one is on March 25th and it’s free! Give Bob a call on 07870 611850 if you would like more details or want to ask anything about our courses.