Opportunity for Medical Students

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iBSc Management in Primary Care

Intercalated Bsc Management In Primary Care and an Opportunity to Work on Overseas Projects

This unique iBSc has been developed to enable medical students to gain insight into how Primary care works, the cutting edge innovation that is leading British Healthcare development. It provides research expertise and international travel opportunities.

Why study this course?

This one-year intercalated BSc in Management in Primary Care is designed for medical students who want to prepare themselves for working in primary care and community, public health or management. The course modules are designed to help students develop critical appraisal skills and knowledge of research methods, as well as how to effectively manage a health care organisation. The ability to effectively manage organisations and make difficult decisions around budget allocations is more important than ever with the creation of the Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Fifty per cent of medical graduates may enter general practice and this course is designed to help students develop these essential extra skills. Our BSc in Management in Primary Care allows students to gain clinical experience alongside the learning of academic skills which can be applied to all aspects of the medical field.

What are the entry requirements?

We would prefer you to have completed three years of a medical degree but will consider applications from people who have completed two years. All applicants will be asked to write a short personal statement (500 words maximum).

What is the structure and timings?

In the autumn term, you will focus on research methods and analysis for understanding the different models of the patient/doctor consultation, determinants of health, public health, primary care systems, and the management of health organisations. You will attached to a GP Practice and in the spring term, you will spend at least one day a week in a GP practice working on a quality improvement or evaluation project. All students will then be supported to write up the project findings for academic publication. During spring term, you will be able to take a number of optional modules at the Kent Business School.

What is the duration of the course?

This is a full time degree lasting for one academic year.

What are the core and optional modules?

The core modules are run by the Centre for Health Services Studies – a leading research centre which undertakes high quality research into a wide range of health systems and health services issues at local, national and international levels.  The Centre collaborates widely with a range of partners, service users, professionals and policy-makers in health and social care in the UK and in other countries to improve the links between research, policy and practice.

Most of the optional modules are run by the Kent Business School which is continually ranked among the top business schools in the UK.

Core Modules:

  • Primary health care: theory and practice (15 credits)

  • Research and evaluation methods (30 credits - autumn and spring terms)

  • Managing primary care organisations (15 credits)

  • The patient/doctor consultation (15 credits)

  • Public health and the role of primary care (15 credits)

Optional Modules:

  • Understanding health economics (15 credits)

  • Strategy Analysis and Tools (15 credits)

  • Introduction to Marketing (15 credits)

  • Management Accounting I (30 credits - autumn and spring terms)

  • Financial Accounting, Reporting and Analysis (15 credits)

All students will have to successfully complete 120 credits during the year.

Core Module Details

Primary Health Care: Theory and Practice

Students will be introduced to the academic study of primary health care; including the disciplines that inform primary care practice, from biomedicine to the outcome of wider social determinants. With many countries, including the UK seeking to shift from a secondary-care led system to one characterised by a strong primary care sector, students will critically assess the contribution of primary medical care to health.

Research and Evaluation Methods

This research and evaluation methods module will introduce students to quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant to primary health. It will particularly focus on how to use such methods on their own projects. This will involve students identifying which research and evaluation techniques are most applicable to their projects and topic areas. It will also cover practical issues around the planning of projects, including research ethics. The module will focus primarily on research and evaluation in relation to long term conditions.

Managing Primary Care Organisations

This module is intended to develop an understanding of the key issues involved in the management, structure and organisation of primary health care services. By focusing on health care management rather than general management the module will help students to develop relevant skills. In addition to introducing students to how health care organisations work on a business level, this module will draw on practical examples to help students develop their leadership and communication skills that are necessary for health care managers.

The Patient/Doctor Consultation

What a consultation is and the nature of consultations in primary care, different approaches and differences in consulting styles and content between the different health professions will be discussed and analysed. Models of the consultation (both for face to face and over the phone) will also be discussed, as well as the processes within the consultation; listening and responding to patient cues, decision making, and risk communication. The patient perspectives at the consultation and the contributions made by professionals, non-professionals, patients and informal carers will be considered.

Public Health and the Role of Primary Care

There is considerable overlap between public health and primary care, and primary care practitioners are a vital part of a ‘system’ geared towards population health improvement and the reduction of health inequalities. However, within primary care in England, public health is misunderstood, and its potential to contribute towards the public health agenda is under-realised. The rise in preventable illness and the persistence of health inequalities are amongst the greatest challenges that the health system faces. As key agents within the health system, primary care practitioners must understand the part they can play in health improvement, health protection and the prevention of health inequalities at a population level.

This module will help participants to understand what a public health approach to primary care looks like. Students will learn about the role primary care practitioners play within a public health system, and about their relationships with others.

Optional Module Details

Understanding Health Economics

A number of interesting policy debates focus on how to improve access to care, evaluate medical technologies, promote healthier behaviour, regulate hospitals and physicians, and control increasing cost. This course will help students to understand the use of economic evidence with respect to such policy debates. It is an introduction to the economics of health and health care. It explores the health care sector and healthy policy issues from an economic perspective. We will cover issues including the value of health, the demand for health care, health care financing, economic evaluation in health care, outcome measurement, equity and inequality in population health, rationing in health care, health care reform.

Strategy Analysis and Tools

The module provides a broad, basic understanding of strategy and strategic management, on which further strategic analysis and exploration of strategic issues can be built. It introduces students to the key vocabulary, concepts and frameworks of strategic management and establishes criteria for assessing whether or not a strategy can be successful. It introduces students to frameworks for analysing the external and internal environments and to different theories of how these relate and of their impact on strategy formulation and implementation.

Students will learn how to identify strategic issues, develop strategic options to address them and decide which option(s) to recommend. Through theoretical readings and case studies, students will develop an appreciation of strategy in different contexts and from different perspectives and of the complexity of strategic decision-making. Students will enhance their ability to read business articles from a strategic perspective and to present strategic arguments in a structured manner.

Introduction to Marketing

This module will demonstrate the importance of marketing in competitive and dynamic environments. The centrality of the consumer provides the focus for the module, with the needs of the firm shown in balance with consumers' needs and wants. The mechanisms used by firms in their marketing are also covered. Key topics covered are: the marketing concept, the marketing environment, market segmentation and targeting, brand development and management, management of the marketing mix, new product development and ethical marketing.

Financial Accounting, Reporting and Analysis

This module will teach you:

• The relationship between business and accounting
• The principles underlying a double-entry accounting system
• The preparation of primary financial statements from trial balance
• The regulatory framework of financial reporting
• The annual report and accounts of PLCs
• The analysis and interpretation of financial statements

Management Accounting I

Management accounting provides information for organisational decision making and control. The module gives you a sound understanding of the nature of costs and management accounting and the relevance of costing information for management. The module introduces and develops, within an economic and organisational context, the principles and techniques used to provide relevant information for managers to enable them to make better-informed decisions. It also reinforces familiarity with, and extends the use of, microcomputer applications.

What topic areas can I do my project on?

The project will be either a:

  1. Service evaluation, or

  2. Quality improvement project

The Health Research Authority defines the aims of evaluation and audit as measuring or evaluating standards of care. The prime focus is therefore to find out whether planned activities are working and if applicable recommend changes to the way these planned activities are conducted.

Students will be supported to write up their findings for academic publication, and/or as a paper to be presented at a conference.  

What are the course fees?

Tuition fees for Home and EU students are currently £9,000 per annum. From year five onwards, tuition fees will be paid from the NHS Student Bursaries Scheme and you will be eligible to apply for a means-tested NHS bursary to cover maintenance costs. For more information, please go to: http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore-by-career/doctors/training-to-become-a-doctor/undergraduate-medical-education/financial-support-for-students-on-degree-courses-in-medicine/.

Are there opportunities to work on overseas projects?

Upon completion of the course, all students will be given the opportunity to spend the summer working abroad on a global public health project. The projects will be supporting large international organisations’ work, such as World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF. Placement locations range from Africa to the Western Pacific region – from China to Papua New Guinea. Most of the overseas projects would be research based, leading to further opportunities to publish in academic journals.

Past projects have included:

  • Supporting the development and implementation of the WHO Regional Action Plan for Healthy Newborns in the Western Pacific – a project aiming to reduce more than 200,000 unnecessary newborn deaths that occur every year in the Western Pacific region

  • Working on the development of a social marketing programme to increase breastfeeding rates in China and Hong Kong.

  • Conducting research with health professionals into newborn health practices in Lao PDR and the Philippines

  • Working with the World Bank to decrease rates of HIV among men who visit sex workers in Vietnam 

Where can I go for further information?

Informal approaches are welcome at any time, please contact Helen Wooldridge, programme administrator: h.l.wooldridge@kent.ac.uk