Student doctors among first to return to campus

Medical students have been among the first University of Liverpool students to return to teaching on campus following the coronavirus lockdown.

Third- and fourth-year students have been taking part in clinical skills teaching sessions in readiness for their upcoming NHS work placements.

“Our country needs our student doctors to train and our campus staff and our NHS colleagues have been pulling out all the stops to ensure that this can continue safely,” explained Professor Hazel Scott, Dean of the Liverpool School of Medicine.

The School has implemented a full package of practical health and safety measures for the start of the new academic year to meet Government guidelines and allow for the controlled return of its students.

“Considerable planning has gone on behind the scenes to prepare our buildings, design the ‘military-style’ co-ordination of student movement in them and adjust teaching sessions for different group sizes, timings and delivery routes,” Professor Scott said.

A range of small-group clinical skills teaching sessions have successfully taken place over the past two weeks, with a maximum of just seven students in each.

Professor Hazel Scott (left) welcomes students back to campus for their clinical skills teaching

Antony Lavercombe, a third-year medical student, said: “Although things are far from normal it is great to be back on campus and moving forward with our clinical skills teaching. The new smaller groups really allow for us to receive concise and personal teaching.

“It is clear the staff have put a lot of time and effort in to providing a safe and comfortable learning environment. I’m optimistic with the new style of teaching we will be able to progress through the year successfully.”

Fellow third-year student Jacqueline Howard said: “For me it’s been amazing to be back doing medicine. The measures the School of Medicine has put in place, especially in face-to-face areas like clinical skills, has put a lot of students at ease which means we can continue learning at the pace we are used to.

“It’s been really nice to see everyone again too, and I know we’re all ready to get started on placement again in the coming months.”

Professor Hazel Scott added: “Our student doctors have responded with their characteristic enthusiasm to learn their craft, however much that means wearing masks and staying at a distance from each other. They are remarkable professionals in the making.”

The University of Liverpool has been at the forefront of national efforts to respond to the pandemic and has put in place a range of additional measures to ensure the campus is a safe and welcoming place to live and study. This includes the introduction of a hybrid teaching and learning model, socially distant study spaces and access to free COVID-19 testing on campus.

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