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The University of Southampton
Medical Education

Research into Teaching Methods

Below are a few examples of practice-based education research conducted by Medical Education members. Conference posters and presentations for each of these can be accessed through the links.

Practice-based education research


Diversity is a theme woven throughout the Bachelor of Medicine programmes at the University of Southampton. Feedback from facilitators raised concerns that some students and facilitators felt uncomfortable discussing sensitive issues around diversity. In response a problem-based approach was set up by Sally Curtis and Kevin Galbraith. The findings were then published in a paper called 'Facilitating discussion of diversity: a problem-based approach' in the Medical Education Journal. Posters were also created as deliverables.

Chronic Pain Education

Sally Curtis, Marilyn Monkhouse, Norma Waite and Cathy Price developed an interactive interdisciplinary teaching model, integrated with patient experience, to address the needs of chronic pain education for undergraduate medical students. The aim was to enlighten students to the causes and consequences of chronic pain. This approach was adopted to maximise understanding of the multifaceted nature of this condition. The session was embedded within a interdisciplinary pain teaching week. The session was delivered by a physiologist, a pain specialist doctor, a pain specialist nurse and expert patients.

English Language Skills on Academic Performance

The BM6 Year 0 widening access programme was designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to undertake Year 1 of the University of Southampton’s BM6 programme. The programme has seen a change in cohort profile with an increase in ethnically diverse students. These students face extra challenges in achieving academic success; it has been shown that such achievements can be hindered by lower level English language skills.  

Sally Curtis, Linda Turner and Carolyn Blundell addressed this issue with a study. It proved that with an increase in students for whom English is not their first language it is important that the programme provides the appropriate level of English language support. This study indicated the methods used to assess language skills were appropriate and that although good language skills are advantageous they are not essential in achieving good grades in the BM6 programme. The findings were presented at the 2006 ASME conference.

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