Knowledge and opinions of undergraduate medical students on NHS structure, medical management and leadership: defining the structure of curriculum improvement

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Little is known about the knowledge and opinions of UK medical undergraduates on NHS structure medical management and leadership. Recent reports have emphasised the importance of developing these attributes in future doctors whilst highlighting currently an uncertainty and possible knowledge gap amongst undergraduates. This study investigates these areas by surveying 240 students from one UK medical school. Forty-eight percent can correctly identify all the hospitals making up their trust, 39% can identify the medical director of the NHS and 60% the nature of the Quality and Outcomes Framework. Seventy-six percent think that doctors should understand the economic factors affecting the NHS, 84% think that NHS structure, medical management and leadership are important and 64% feel more is required from their curriculum in these areas. Knowledge levels and perception of its relative importance both increase as medical students become more senior. Medical management and leadership knowledge and skills are currently lacking in undergraduates but there is a desire amongst many to learn and develop these areas, and a responsibility upon teaching faculty to ensure this is embedded in clinical placements. This study supports teaching of medical management and leadership as an integrated subject into all aspects of the medical curriculum currently being implemented at Imperial College London and other UK medical schools.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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