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The University of Southampton
Medical Education

500 Years of Innovation

Published: 16 July 2018
500th Anniversary Conference
Royal College of Physicians 500th Anniversary Conference

Medical Education was delighted to sponsor Charlotte Harrison, a final year medical student, to attend the Royal College of Physicians 500th Anniversary Conference: Innovation in Medicine 2018.

Charlotte’s conference report follows:

The conference was pointed out to me by Professor Morrison, Associate Dean for Education, who encouraged me to submit an abstract. To my great surprise, it was accepted for presentation in Iposter form. I presented work on an innovative educational project called the National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition (led by Dr. Scott Border and Mr. Sam Hall) for which I have had great fun being part of. The conference was a great opportunity to showcase the competition, bringing it to the attention of educational leads from a range of medical schools across the UK.

The conference itself was a vast affair. Physicians from all over the UK and beyond convened in London, to celebrate how far medicine has come since the Royal Charter was signed by Henry VIII in 1518, and to look to the future, to where medicine may go in the next 500 years. Key themes included patient-centred care, translational research and innovative technologies to assist in delivering healthcare.

I heard inspiring talks from a range of clinicians in a range of disciplines. Stand out talks included; Dr Ofri (Clinical Professor, New York school of Medicine) who spoke about letting patients speak and the value of good communication (or the price of bad communication), and Professor Reilly (president of the Association of British Neurologists) who gave a fascinating talk on rare diseases, using her exemplary work to demonstrate how fast bench to bedside research can occur within the timespan of a career. Perhaps the most engaging session, however, was participating in a ‘Schwartz round’. This involved three very experienced clinicians bringing forward difficult stories from their clinical careers, in order to stimulate audience discussion and reflection, to promote professionalism and well-being.  It was very powerful to observe clinicians from all levels of training tackling huge issues such as compassion, reflection and how to practice medicine whilst still staying ‘human’.

Attending the conference was a really dynamic way to help put into context both the knowledge that we learn at medical school, and the future of a career in medicine. I am so grateful to Professor Morrison for her encouragement to apply, and to Medical Education for making it possible for me to attend.


Charlotte Harrison and her poster
Charlotte Harrison, Final year medical student
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