Teaching Palliative Care in the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine is closely intertwined with the research of the Cambridge Palliative and End of Life Care Group. This direct link with new thinking and discoveries contributes to the outstanding quality of our teaching.
The General Medical Council has described it as a “national exemplar of excellence”.
We seek to prepare our medical students for their important role in caring for patients approaching and at the end of their lives as junior doctors and later in their careers. While a few may subsequently become Palliative Medicine Consultants, most will become Consultants in other specialties or General Practitioners, providing Palliative Care in those settings.
Our teaching is delivered throughout the final three clinical years of the medical course. Half-day seminars take students through the wide range of issues in a spiral fashion. You can read more about the contents of the sessions here: Year 4, Year 5, Year 6.
The teaching team is led by Dr Stephen Barclay, University Senior Lecturer in Palliative Care and General Practice and recipient of the 2015 University Pilkington Prize for Teaching Excellence. Dr Anna Spathis, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, and Dr Annabel Price, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, are Associate Specialty Directors of the course. Angela Murphy is our Teaching Coordinator. Colleagues from the research team, the broader Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Palliative and End of Life Care community, patient and carers, ethicists, chaplains and even professional actors contribute to teaching sessions.
Student selected components
In addition to taking part in structured lectures and seminars, medical students can work on their Student Selected Components with members of our team. Most recently, Ben Worsfold contributed to the literature review and field work of the Bereavement Support Study. Jake Tobin and Seb Tullie undertook a systematic review of the inequalities in access to hospices. Previous SSC students have undertaken studies of UK / Indian professional attitudes to Palliative Care (Willmott, Kingdon and Barclay, 2015), the withdrawal of the Liverpool Care Pathway (Knights, Wood and Barclay, 2013) and first year students’ experience of the Dissecting Room (papers in preparation).
UK Association for Palliative Medicine Special Interest Forum for Undergraduate Medical Education
Dr Barclay is Co-chair, together with Professor John Ellershaw (Liverpool), of the UK Association for Palliative Medicine Special Interest Forum for Undergraduate Medical Education http://www.apmuesif.phpc.cam.ac.uk/
For enquiries concerning our undergraduate education, please contact our Teaching Coordinator, Angela Murphy.
Postgraduate Medical Education
Over recent years we have had several CLAHRC Fellows join the group. These are clinicians who are funded by the Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care for one day per week for a year to undertake research. Our current CLAHRC Fellows are Ben Bowers and Dr Sarah Hopkins. We also host Academic Clinical Fellows. These are junior doctors training to become GPs or Palliative Medicine Consultants who have protected time for research during their clinical training. Our current Academic Clinical Fellows are Dr Rebecca Farndale, Dr Karen Petchey and Dr Chloe Chin.
We also supervise PhD students.
We regularly run education days for GP Trainees across the Region and study days for established GPs in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners.
For enquiries about our postgraduate education, please contact Dr Barclay’s Research PA, Angela Harper.
Image credit: suriya silsaksom at iStock, Getty Images.