The changing styles of teaching medicine

We bring you a teacher’s perspective on life at medical school.

Senior psychiatry lecturer Aileen O’Brien tells us about ever-evolving teaching methods in medicine, and she takes us inside the working week of a teaching professional.

Teaching medicine

I am Aileen O’Brien, a senior lecturer in psychiatry with a job that is part time at the medical school at Georges and part time at the psychiatric hospital in Tooting, Springfield Hospital, where I’m a Consultant.

Six years ago I became a Consultant and I specialise in intensive care psychiatry.

I’ve always been interested in research and teaching medicine and so have mixed clinical psychiatry with both of these. This means I have a lot of variety in my week, and the teaching and research keep me up to date with clinical psychiatry whilst the things that happen on the ward I can use in my lectures as examples.

I’m also lucky as a senior lecturer to work with a real variety of people, academics and clinicians, doctors of all speciality and people of all types of background who work with the students.

Lecture theatre at St George's, University of London

The way students are taught has developed over time, moving away from lots of lectures to more small group interactive sessions, clinical and problem based learning, and more use of e-learning. It’s a much more interesting way to learn than the hours of memorising students were asked to do in the past.

It’s also really important to integrate the theory with practice and to get exposure to patients when teaching medicine.

medical school

In psychiatry we give lectures from the start but combine this with clinical demonstrations, expert sessions with patients and later with time spent at psychiatric hospitals. We’re also trying to develop more e-learning opportunities for students in psychiatry.

If you’re interested in learning about medicine, you may also like: a day in the life of a trainee doctor or Reedhi’s experience at medical school

Check out these courses: International Foundation in Pharmacy, Health and Life Sciences at INTO Univeristy of East Anglia, International Foundation in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at INTO Newcastle University or International Foundation in Pharmacy at INTO Manchester. 

To stay updated with student life, follow us on Facebook, TwitterYouTube and Instagram. 

Or to speak to someone about your study abroad options visit the INTO website

You may also like...

Tell us what you think!