advice for practices

  • The placement should be from Monday – Friday 8:30am – 6:00pm.
  • Students should not be left alone with patients at any time.
  • Students should not observe intimate examinations.
  • Make sure you have the time and capacity to be actively involved to ensure the experience is rewarding.
  • Restrict patient contact to those students committed to applying to medical school.Discuss your work, shadow the practice manager, and administrative team.Consider experience with a local pharmacy, hospice, or care home.
  • Where possible, work observation should take place outside the observer’s immediate locality.
  • Doctors must be clear about the importance of confidentiality before observers begin their placements.
  • Receptionists should explain the identity and status of anybody sitting in on a consultation to the patients.
  • Talk to patients at the beginning of their consultation about who the observer is and why they are there. Explain that they can change their mind at any time without prejudice to the care they receive
  • Publicise information in waiting rooms or on appointment reminders that observers may be present in their appointments, so they are aware that they may be asked for their consent at the time.
  • The pupil’s identity and a note of the discussion should be on each individual patient’s record.
  • Referring to the pupil as a ‘prospective medical student’ could be misleading to some patients; it should be made clear that the student will shortly be sitting their A levels and has applied for a place at medical school.
  • Your practice may wish to check with your public and/or employee liability insurers whether they would have any concerns about pupils being in the practice for work experience.