North Carolina AHEC Program
fall 2012 newsletter | home

Visiting British Physician Studies AHEC Medical Student Training

Bridget Lock, MD

From October 1-19, 2012, the NC AHEC Program hosted the 2012 National Association of Clinical Tutors UK Travelling Fellow Bridget Lock, MD, of the United Kingdom. Lock (photo above) is the consultant physician for older people at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farmborough, Kent.

Stemming from her experience as a clinical tutor in the UK, she came to North Carolina to “learn from the U.S. experience of supporting trainees though programs that are in different locations and may have multiple clinical supervisors.”

Lock visited Mountain AHEC in Asheville, Greensboro AHEC, South East AHEC in Wilmington, Wake AHEC in Raleigh, and many faculty of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine to analyze how AHEC faculty manage the problems of continuity of educational care. “How do your faculty evaluate progress in clinical thinking and judgment?” she asked. “How do they identify students with difficulties or who are not meeting educational targets?”

With the European Union rule of a 48-hour workweek, Lock is studying issues of tracking progress or deficiencies when time in training has been reduced from the traditional 80-plus hours per week of a medical student, and remedial opportunities are increasingly curtailed. “U.S. trainees spend the same absolute amount of time to the same end,” she noted, “but our hours restrictions prolong the overall time.”

She was impressed with the value placed on community needs in the AHEC system. In addition, she felt the longitudinal integrated curriculum used at the UNC School of Medicine campus in Asheville gave the opportunity for deep learning.

Editor’s Note: In 1976, John Lister, MD, of the United Kingdom and Christopher Fordham, MD, of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine created the Travelling Fellowship—an exchange program whereby AHEC-based faculty from North Carolina spent a month studying aspects of the British medical education and health services delivery system. In return, NC AHEC hosted fellows selected by the National Association of Clinical Tutors (NACT) from the UK. In 1996, the American portion of the exchange became known as the Eugene S. Mayer Fellowship thanks to contributions made in memory of the longtime NC AHEC director.