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The University of Southampton
Medical Education

Professor Chris Stephens conducts accreditation visit in Baltimore

Published: 18 March 2015
MedStar Harbor Hospital

In early March Professor Chris Stephens went on an accreditation visit for medical student placements to a couple of hospitals around Baltimore in the USA. Chris undertook this visit alongside Professor Tony Weetman from Sheffield Medical School.

Image of Maryland University
University of Maryland, Baltimore

When asked about this trip, Chris reported the following observations:

Firstly, we visited MedStar Harbor Hospital, which is a not-for-profit, 179-bed acute care teaching hospital facility located downtown Baltimore, Maryland, on the Patapsco River. From there, we went on to University of Maryland Medical Centre, which is a 250-bed community hospital and a teaching site of the University of Maryland Medical Centre Midtown Campus, located in Baltimore’s cultural centre near the historic Mount Vernon neighbourhood.


In both hospitals we toured the facilities and met with groups of students. We noted that clinical staff members involve the medical students in all aspects of medical care, both by their own supervision and through the involvement of registrars. Coming from the UK setting, there were two major differences that were immediately evident. Firstly, clinicians’ workload was less pressured than in the UK. For example, the ITU wards were at 60% occupancy and the ER rooms were calm with short waiting time. Secondly, the amount of time the attending physicians had allocated for teaching purposed seemed significantly higher than that which can be observed in Britain. Clinical teachers seemed less pressured and explained to us that the teaching, mentoring and supervision of students and residents formed a valued and important part of their role.

A more comprehensive report of this trip will appear in the forthcoming issue of the MEDU newsletter, the Facilitator.

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