This is a three-week placement taking place between September and Christmas, depending on which group you are in.
How you will spend your timeCLICK TO EXPAND
You will be assigned to a single GP practice and ideally will only be having your own surgeries with your own patients, and just consult the GP for his/her opinion in the end. There will also be some tutorials at lunchtime, mainly on the subjects of ENT, ophthalmology and dermatology, in order to tie in with the specialty placements. Your schedule will be quite busy as the medical school insists on 4.5 days for every one (in our case that was 8.30-6pm), but you can also get a lot out of this attachment if the set-up is good.
I used it to brush up on all my examination techniques as well as my interviewing skills (in terms of content – what are the specific questions for each presenting symptoms, and of course communication skills). As you will be presenting every case and suggest a management plan, you’ll have great opportunity to practice these skills. Unfortunately, we had our OSPE exam in the final week of this placement, so I did not manage to read as much as I wanted on general medicine, if I had, it would have been even more useful preparation for finals
Which books to useCLICK TO EXPAND
I mainly used to use the Oxford Handbook of General Practice and the BNF, as well as the OHCM to quickly look things up. I sometimes used the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Specialties.
How to use the resources on medportal.CLICK TO EXPAND
(Medportal is an internal Cambridge site with information for medical students.) There is no specific information on Medportal to aid revisions, apart from general objectives.
AssignmentsCLICK TO EXPAND
You need to see a palliative care patient and interview them at length on at least one occasion, and then write a reflective essay of ~3000 words which you need to hand in the Monday after your GP placement ends
How to prepare for the examCLICK TO EXPAND
There is no formal written assessment during this placement, you will just be graded by your GP tutor on your performance, the rest will be part of finals.