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Churchview Family Practice wins QUB Teaching Award and visit from Health Minister, Robin Swann

General Practice placements for QUB medical students continue to provide a high-quality learning environment for future medics and to attract greater numbers of medical graduates to make a career in primary care. As a university, we want to place on record our gratitude to our teaching partners in practice, your willingness to open your doors to our medical students has enabled us to increase the percentage of time they spend in General Practice. Only a few years ago, primary care accounted for around 7% of the medical student journey. By 2025, it will represent one quarter of the time spent on the undergraduate degree course.

This increased exposure to primary care could not have been delivered without the collaboration and our GP colleagues, facilitated in many cases by their able Practice Managers. Despite the myriad challenges faced in the post-Covid world, practices continue to show a high level of commitment to teaching medical students, providing insightful and enjoyable experiences to students, such that even those who may have previously considered that primary care was not for them have reason to reconsider.

In recognition of the efforts made by our GP colleagues, each year QUB invites medical students to nominate their GP Tutor and the Practice team for the Robin Harland award if they have had a particularly good educational experience.

This year’s prize, (for the 2022/23 academic year), went to Dr Grainne Doran who has recently retired from Church View Practice, Bangor Health Centre. Dr Doran is a former Chair of Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Northern Ireland. She and Church View Practice were nominated by Dr Marcus Graham. He said:

“Church View created a culture amongst the GPs that allowed me to work alongside them as a member of the clinical team in the most supportive and safe environment. This placement has further cemented my ambitions to qualify and practice as a future GP. The breadth of knowledge and clinical skills required to undertake this role was so kindly demonstrated to me by the amazing team at Church View Practice, particularly Dr Doran. I have no doubt that I am now better equipped for both my upcoming final exams and my future career as a doctor as a result.”

Speaking at the awards event in spring 2024, Minister Swann said: “It is my firm hope that the programmes delivered by our medical schools will encourage many of our brightest and most committed young medics to pursue a career in General Practice across Northern Ireland. I want to recognise that accommodating the recent significant increase in quality placements has been an immense challenge, given all the other pressures on primary care.”