St Anne’s final year medics graduate early to assist NHS

Update: Sumaiyah Al-Aidarous has also graduated, as of 22 April. 

Many congratulations to our three final year medics who graduated early from their Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in absentia yesterday in order to assist the NHS with the fight against Coronavirus. They are:

Jessica Kate Davies

Charlotte Zoe Moore

Phoebe Matilda Tupper

Phoebe wrote to us about what she has been doing to assist frontline GPs:

“All the work I have done so far has been quite different to medical school but has given me an appreciation of the work done by parts of the NHS I previously had very little exposure to. I worked for three weeks with the Fetal and Maternal Medicine team, mainly in an administrative role. I rang women to let them know about changes to their appointment schedule and helped to set-up remote clinics by teaching patients how to monitor their blood pressure at home and explaining how to use the video consultation programme. It was really interesting to see how rapidly change can come about – some of the doctors mentioned that they had spent years trying to convince people to start remote clinics and at-home blood pressure monitoring but that, due to the current situation, everything had been accelerated and achieved impressively quickly. Everyone in the department was really friendly and it was rewarding to work with a group of patients for whom interaction with the NHS is unavoidable and who are (understandably) particularly concerned about the consequences of appointments being cancelled, partners not being able to be present for scans and any potential impact of coronavirus on pregnancy (luckily so far no evidence seems to suggest any consequences). 

Yesterday I started at one of the Coronavirus Hubs that aim to allow patients with symptoms consistent with coronavirus to be reviewed by a GP. GP practices are currently seeing fewer patients in person but these hubs allow patients to be examined and their basic observations to be assessed so that patient safety isn’t compromised. It couldn’t be further from my previous experience of general practice. Patients drive into the car park and have a history taken by one of the GPs over the phone. The GP then dons PPE and examines the patient in their car or, if necessary, takes them into one of the very bare clinic rooms (only furnished with an examining bed) before the patient returns to their car to have another conversation over the phone with the GP about whether they need any treatment, to be reviewed again the following day, or to go to hospital. Our main job is helping the GPs with their PPE, putting on PPE ourselves and then assisting GPs with their examination (which mainly involves carrying the equipment!). We then have to disinfect/dispose of all of the equipment used and clean any areas that have been in contact with the patient or ourselves during the process. Yesterday we saw patients from a whole range of ages and also with a whole spectrum of disease severity. The GPs have been really good about explaining why they ask certain questions, do certain examinations and why they feel certain management is appropriate so I think it will be a very useful learning experience. It has been extremely interesting to see how doctors approach a condition where there is still much to be learnt about the symptoms and clinical course. 

I have enjoyed all of the work I have done so far and I have been very grateful for it giving my days some structure and human interaction!”