General Practice/Primary Care

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General Practice/Primary Care

 

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Welcome to General Practice in GEMS

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We are an enthusiastic and ambitious group of GP teachers and researchers aiming to develop general practice and primary care in Ireland with high quality teaching and research of international standing while maintaining active clinical roles and involvement in the development and delivery of primary care services in the Mid-West and beyond. We deliver an innovative educational programme at the Medical School where we teach in three of the four years of the Graduate Entry Medical programme. The UL-GEMS Early Patient Contact Programme is based entirely in general practice and our 18 week  Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship placement programme in the community is unique in Ireland. This programme is consistently rated highest of all clinical placements by medical students here in GEMS. In addition, we deliver interdisciplinary postgraduate education and have created a highly supportive environment for our postgraduate students.

We are proud of the fact that our research impacts not only on individual patient care but also on regional and national health policy. We have a highly successful funding and publication track record nationally and internationally and have numerous research awards including International Research Award BJGP Research Conference (2019); University of Limerick Award for Excellence in Service to the Community (2019); Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI) General Practice Research Award (2018); HSE Open Access Research Awards Mental Health Research (2018); WONCA Europe Vasco da Gama Junior Researcher Award (2018) and HSE Acute Hospital Research Award (2017) 

We look forward to the opportunity to engage with you through all or some of the activities outlined above and above all else “Welcome to the GEMS!”

Professor Liam Glynn
MD, MICGP, FRCSI, FRCGP
Professor of General Practice
Graduate Entry Medical School
 

Faculty and Staff

Prof. Liam Glynn
Professor of General Practice

Prof. Patrick O'Dwyer
Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of General Practice (Education & Assessment Lead)

Prof. Aidan Culhane
Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of General Practice (Early Patient Contact Programme Lead)

Dr. Andrew O'Regan
Senior Lecturer in General Practice

Dr. Peter Hayes 
Senior Lecturer in General Practice

Dr. Patrick O'Donnell
Clinical Fellow in Social Inclusion and General Practice

Mr. Kevin O'Connor
Executive Administrator, General Practice

Ms. Karen Lyons 
Senior Administrator, GP Education & Assessment

Ms. Monica Casey
Senior Administrator, ULEARN-GP Network

 

Regional GP Network Co-ordinators

 

  Prof. Pat O'Dwyer
  Limerick/North Tipperary Co-ordinator
  e-mail: patrick.odwyer@ul.ie

 

 

  Prof. Aidan Culhane
  Limerick/North Tipperary Co-ordinator
  e-mail: aidan.culhane@ul.ie

 

 

  Dr. Páraic Meaney
  Clare Co-ordinator
  e-mail: paraic.meaney@ul.ie

 

 

  Dr. Declan Herlihy
  Cork/South Tipperary Co-ordinator
  e-mail: declan.j.herlihy@ul.ie

 

 

  Dr. Gary Stack
  Kerry Co-ordinator
  e-mail: gary.d.stack@ul.ie

 

 

  Dr. Jerry O'Flynn
  Midlands/Dublin Co-ordinator
  e-mail: jeremiah.oflynn@ul.ie

 

 

  Dr. John Cuddihy
  South East Co-ordinator
  e-mail: john.cuddihy@ul.ie

 

 

ULEARN-GP Network

The University of Limerick Education and Research Network in General Practice (ULEARN-GP) is a collaboration of approximately 140 general practices across the country. Our affiliation with these practices enables us to offer high quality placements to our students as well as to advance the research interests of the School, specifically in the areas of public health and primary healthcare. The network is sub-divided into six geographic "hubs", each led by an individual GP Co-ordinator.

Overview of the General Practice/Primary Care Module

In Year 3, each student spends 18 weeks on clinical attachment with an individual GP tutor in a GEMS-affiliated teaching practice.

Currently, teaching practices are located in six regions, each with a central hub at which students attends for the day release programme. During the initial part of the placement students observe the GP tutor consulting with patients. However, the core component of this clinical attachment is 'parallel consulting', where a patient is assigned to a student by the GP tutor (with the patient's consent). The student then consults with the patient for 15 to 20 minutes before presenting his/her findings to the GP tutor. While clinical responsibility for patient care will always rest with the GP, this model involves the student in the assessment and management of patients presenting to general practice and is therefore an 'active' form of learning.

Students, on average will encounter 4 to 6 patients per day, generating approximately 400 patient contacts over the 18 week placement. Students learn to perform the same tasks as the general practitioner, while under close supervision.

 

GP Student/Tutor Handbook

The GP Student/Tutor Handbook for AY2019/20 is available here.

 

Teaching

Formal teaching takes place at one of UL-GEMS’ teaching hubs on Wednesday mornings with 6-12 students per hub. This day release programme consists of seminars/webinars delivered by invited speakers and also a series of 5 small group tutorials, which are delivered by regional GP co-ordinators.

Activity in each of these six networks is locally supported by a GP Co-ordinator whose primary role is to support practices and students and to liaise with UL and is thus your local point of contact in the event of issues arising from your placement.

 

Typical Student Schedule for GP Placement

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

AM

GP Clinic

GP Clinic

Formal teaching in GP (block release)

GP Clinic

GP Clinic

PM

GP Clinic

Self-directed learning

Professional Competencies (block release)

Self-directed learning

Self-directed learning

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How are students assessed during/after their GP attachment?
Assessment of the module involves three domains, each contributing one-third to the overall score. Students must achieve a minimum of 50% in each of these domains to pass the module. The In-Training Assessment is completed by the student's clinical tutor on placement. The Knowledge of Health and Illness component is a written exam comprising multiple choice questions (MCQ) and extended matching questions (EMQ). The Long Case clinical exam is the final component where the student interviews/examines a patient and must then answer questions on their findings/diagnosis by an examiner pair.

2. How does "parallel consulting" work?
During the early weeks of placement, the student will "sit-in" with the GP tutor simply as an observer. Soon after this, the student must start to actively consult with patients before presenting the case to the clinical tutor. This approach promotes "experimential learning". While clinical responsibility for patient care will always rest with the GP, the "parallel consulting" approach allows students to actively support this activity. The primary responsibility of the GP Tutor is to review the findings that have been presented/summarised by the student and to provide regular and constructive feedback to the student on his/her clinical history, examination and likely differential diagnosis. Secondary responsibilities include observing / reviewing the student’s ability to:
- Communicate with the patient
- Demonstrate a physical exam skill
- Discuss diagnosis / differential diagnosis
- Explain pathophysiology of the condition, investigations and management, relevant research in the area.

3. How many teaching sessions do I need to attend?
Students must attend all five of their small group tutorials throughout their 18-week placement. Students must also attend at least 75% of the "fixed teaching" sessions and workshop days.

 

Graduate Testimonial

Brian King.jpgWhy am I a GP? A large part of it is due to my time in West Clare in early 2010 as a UL GEMS student. Days were filled with clinical encounters, parallel consultations,  house calls, out of hours and immersion in local life which shaped my enthusiasm for GP life. GPs are perhaps the last of the the generalists in medicine, and with my allocated practice being 80km from an ED, knowing your patients and good clinical skills were essential. GP is cradle to the grave medicine and no two days are the same. At times you are there just to listen or reassure. Other times it’s to break bad news or treat serious illness. As a career it can be demanding but ultimately personally rewarding. 

Brian King
BMBS Class of 2011 Graduate and General Practitioner