A Curriculum for Change -Developing skills that will influence change in medical practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The NHS in Scotland faces increasing challenges when providing quality of care with ever limiting resources. For this to be addressed doctors, along with other healthcare professionals, should appreciate the value and necessity of quality improvement in healthcare early in their careers.1 ScotGEM, a graduate entry medical program delivered jointly between Universities of Dundee and St Andrews, offers innovative training that aims to produce graduates that are inspired, competent and confident to influence change: In other words to ‘not only deliver but develop healthcare’. Agents of Change (AoC), a unique part of the ScotGEM programme, will help students identify opportunities for improvement by leading, engaging and working with staff, patients and communities.2 They will drive forward positive change, embracing a “wider systems” thinking approach to deliver optimal healthcare tailored for Scotland in the 21st century.
By developing a curriculum of teaching that includes taught materials and project work in placement through all four years of study, students develop their expertise in change management and leadership. The development and delivery of these projects is supported through interprofessional collaboration with primary care teams in NHS Fife, Tayside, Dumfries and Galloway and the Highlands. This method of education delivery enables students to learn the value of patient safety, quality improvement and clinical audit whilst appreciating the importance of collaborative working. Taught material to support these projects includes the vertical themes of Quality Improvement, Informatics, Service Learning, Prescribing and Therapeutics, and Public Health.
A curriculum that spans all 4 years of the programme is now established. 153 healthcare improvement projects have been completed that have resulted in 4 overarching topic areas identified: sustainability, clinical management, prescribing and monitoring of drugs, and improving practice systems. So far 2 cohorts of medical students have graduated that are able to contribute effectively to embedding healthcare improvement and change management in their future medical career.
The AoC curriculum can develop knowledge and skills among medical students that can influence attitudes towards improving healthcare delivery. Experiential learning in clinical practice enhances understanding and appreciation for sustainable prescribing, have a positive impact on clinical staff, healthcare organisations and ultimately patient safety. Our work shows how our students are trained and empowered to be the drivers of sustainable change. The overall outcome of AoC is to produce medical students who see themselves as important influencers of change as future doctors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScottish Society of Physicians Annual Meeting
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2023
EventScottish Society of Physicians Annual Meeting - Apex Hotel Dundee, Dundee
Duration: 28 Sept 202329 Sept 2023


ConferenceScottish Society of Physicians Annual Meeting


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