Aberdeen scheme giving inside look of GP surgery to expand

Students observe an appointment.
Students observe an appointment.

A pilot scheme designed to show medical students inside GP appointments is to be expanded.

GP Live, which streams video of consultations with doctors to a classroom at the University of Aberdeen, has had a successful debut this year.

The scheme currently only receives video from Cults Medical Group, but is in talks with other practices about possible expansion.

Dr John McKeown, a senior clinical lecturer at the university, and also a GP partner at Cults, is spearheading the scheme.

Dr McKeown said: “At the moment it’s just at Cults, but we’re talking to our colleagues at different practices.

“We’re starting to think about different ways that we can roll out the hardware into practices.

“That’s an issue around Wi-Fi and internet access, and the hardware for recording as well.

“There’s definitely plans to roll it out.”

Dr McKeown also said that due to the University of Aberdeen’s involvement in rural medicine, his eventual hopes for the scheme would be its expansion across the North-east.

The pilot has been well-received received by the students, who have appreciated the “real world” aspect of the sessions.

Up to 40 students are now able to see several consultations within a session, where previous schemes would involve only two students having to physically be in attendance at the practice.

Dr McKeown said: “We would have had to find 20 practices with the time to commit to that, and it changes the dynamic of the consultation having people other than the doctor in the room.”

The lecturer believes that the look into real world medicine has benefitted the students, and has helped to peak interest in being a GP.

He said: “With the change in the course we’ve seen a real increase in interest in General Practice, and a knowledge of what a GP does, even in the early years students in the school.

“An awful lot of students, I suspect, are considering careers in general practice off the back off this course.”