An evaluation of the reform of the Liverpool Medical Curriculum

Watmough, Simon
(2000) An evaluation of the reform of the Liverpool Medical Curriculum. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract Since the mid 1990s medical education in the UK has undergone fundamental changes, largely in response to the recommendations of the General Medical Council (GMC) in Tomorrow’s Doctors (GMC 1993). In 1996 the University of Liverpool radically altered its undergraduate medical curriculum from a traditional lecture based course to an integrated problem based learning (PBL) curriculum, largely in accordance with the recommendations from the GMC. The primary aim of undergraduate medical education in the UK is to produce competent junior doctors (PRHOs) who meet the standards laid out by the GMC. As the reformed medical curriculum (RMC) has involved such a radical overhaul this dissertation seeks to assess the perceived competencies of Liverpool graduates and gather views on the content of the RMC. The study population comprises PRHOs from the final cohort of the traditional curriculum and the first two cohorts from the RMC and their educational supervisors. Gathering data on the final cohort of the traditional curriculum has allowed comparisons between traditional and RMC graduates. Each PRHO has a named educational supervisor, a consultant or GP for each post they hold during the PRHO year who is formally responsible for monitoring their progress. Three main research tools have been utilised using quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Questionnaires based on the 31 key skills and attitudes PRHOs are meant to learn as undergraduates as listed by the GMC in The New Doctor (1997), were sent to educational supervisors asking them to assess the competencies of the PRHOs they supervise. Each questionnaire has the competencies listed on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from generally not at all competent to generally quite competent with midpoint represented as generally quite competent. The same questionnaires were sent to the PRHOs asking them to assess their own performances. Thirteen Focus groups took place with PRHOs from the study population with the aim of asking them how well prepared they felt they had been to undertake the job of PRHO by the University. They were held towards the end of the PRHO year to allow the PRHOs to reflect on their experiences since graduation and relate them to the medical course. Interviews were arranged with 59 consultants and GPs - around 25% of the educational supervisors in the Mersey area during the summers of 2002 and 2003. The purpose of the interviews was to gain the supervisors’ views on the competencies of the RMC graduates and on the content of the RMC itself. The three-pronged research methodology has allowed triangulation and validation between the different sources giving a fuller picture of the competencies of Liverpool graduates. The results demonstrate that the RMC graduates have been well prepared for the role of PRHO and are actually better prepared than graduates from the traditional curriculum and curriculum reform has largely been welcomed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2023 12:41
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 12:59
DOI: 10.17638/03174749
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