Dr Sangeeta Patel is a part-time Senior Lecturer in General Practice, where her role is as the Course Director for the General Professional Training (GPT) course.
She has spent the last five years using the medical anthropology scholarship from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) to inform and develop theory in primary care for medical students. They now have a coherent integrated course where observation of clinical practice is supplemented by opportunities for feedback and reflection. This is supported by a theoretical framework to help develop a patient-centred consultation style and effective clinical reasoning skills.
Dr Patel has now focused her energy on developing and running the GPT course. This is now a five week rolling attachment which runs throughout the Medicine MBBS T year (‘Transitional’ year, the first ‘clinical’ year for school-leavers and graduates). The course provides opportunities for the students to grasp the theory behind consultation in general practice – they are given pointers to sources and provided with practical guidance during interactive weekly seminar teaching.
Students further develop their consultation and diagnostic clinical reasoning skills with patients when sitting in with in local GP tutors during their surgeries. Students are given opportunities to reflect upon and integrate their experiences in twice weekly small group (hub) exercises led by experienced local GP ‘hub’ tutors. Towards the end of the attachment, students are given an OSCE style formative examination in which they receive direct personal verbal and written feedback from simulated patients and examiners. Dr Patel has developed and gives the seminars and hub material, and supports the local GP tutors and the actors. She teaches the students in her practice during their GP observations and their hub tutorials. In the medical school, she liaises with the clinical and communication skills teams and the year lead to ensure that the GPT forms part of the students’ wider learning.
Dr Patel works closely with Ban Haider on developing and delivering the GPT. Ban Haider is a senior teaching fellow in IMBE, where she is line managed by Sangeeta. Sangeeta also liaises with the Clinical Communication team, Clinical Skills and T Year lead, meeting regularly with Drs Katherine Joekes and Clare Shoults.
Outside of the medical school, Sangeeta meets at least twelve times a year with the 20 GP hub tutors and four times a year with the 50 Spoke GP tutors, and liaises with them frequently.
In her practice, she is a GP trainer, runs the West Wandsworth branch of the local GP trainers group, and represents her practice, Balham Park Surgery at the monthly Wandle Members Forum for Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group.
Dr Patel has a background in Medical Anthropology, having completed a Masters at SOAS some years ago, and has maintained an interest in cultural understandings of health. She has used this background to inform and develop the theory for the GPT course. Once the course is established, she is looking forwards to finding the time to engage in some more personal scholarship.