Specialty Showcase Days: Can Specialist Careers Workshops Improve The Consideration Of ENT For Medical Students?
Received 26 July 2019
Accepted for publication 18 September 2019
Published 21 October 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 877—884
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder
James Arwyn-Jones,1,* Sanjana Bhalla,1,* Vikas Acharya,1 Issa Beegun,2 Zaid Awad,1 Neil Tolley1
1Otolaryngology Department, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, The Bays, London W2 1NY, UK; 2Otolaryngology Department, Barts Health NHS Trust, Trust Headquarters, The Royal London Hospital, London, E1 2ES, UK
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Correspondence: James Arwyn-Jones
Undergraduate Education Office, Reynolds Building, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Campus, St Dunstan’s Road, London W6 8RP, UK
Objective: We hypothesize that poor consideration of specialist surgery is due to a lack of exposure to information about careers and practice itself. Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgery is given little weight in medical school curricula, despite ENT problems being extremely common. Our objective is to assess whether a specialty showcase day was sufficient to boost informed consideration of this career.
Design: We designed a half-day course involving an interactive careers workshop exploring ENT as a specialty choice, alongside simulation stations of commonly presenting ENT problems led by ENT doctors. We used pre- and post-course evaluation sheets to explore factors that encourage and discourage students from surgical careers and perceptions of ENT.
Setting: A large proportion of UK medical schools do not offer ENT placements, and of those that do, nearly half are not compulsory. This leaves students unaware of ENT as a career option and unclear about what an ENT career comprises. Our half-day course took place in the simulation suite at St Mary’s Hospital, London.
Participants: Medical students were mainly in their third year of study and had aspirations towards a variety of surgical and non-surgical careers, with a minority aspiring towards ENT before the course.
Results: Our results demonstrate that all students found the session useful and had a much better understanding of ENT practice, with almost all students leaving more likely to consider a career in ENT.
Conclusion: We would like to repeat this session in different student year groups and compare their perceptions with our results. We find our results a good case for including informative careers workshops as part of medical school teaching. We pose that interactive workshops exploring specialist surgical careers are a valid way to enable students in making informed career decisions – particularly in specialties that are under-represented at medical school.
Keywords: undergraduate education, careers, specialist surgery, otorhinolaryngology, simulation
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