Image Caption: Tom Davidson, Director For The Centre Of Excellence In Paramedic Practice
What do you do and what motivates you to work in this field?
“I’ve been involved from the very start of Cumbria School of Medicine and have been helping the senior representation of the University of Cumbria and helping support the academic side of the programme. I have worked within Cumbria in practice and education for over 10 years, and I have firsthand experience with the challenges the health system faces with recruiting doctors. I am proud to be part of a programme that will directly impact the community I live and work in. This programme will help support the specific healthcare needs of the region through an innovation educational approach.”
Why did you get involved in the cumbria school of medicine project?
“Clearly, it’s a really exciting project to be involved with. Bringing a medical school to Cumbria is something that’s needed in the region. We certainly have a gap in our region and struggle to recruit medics in the local area. I’m an allied health professional myself, and there’s a number of paramedics that work alongside doctors in GP practices and hospitals, and they see the need for more locally-grown medics to support the system. So from someone who lives in the Cumbria area, works alongside a number of medics and clinicians, I see the benefit that this programme could have to the region, and also the benefit it has to our University in aligning with Imperial. It’s another great result of this partnership.”
“Its been a very worthwhile and effective collaboration between our organisations, and that’s one strength to it, that we both bring our strengths to the Cumbria School of Medicine. Imperial clearly have a pedigree in science, research and medicine, and I think what Cumbria have is that understanding of the local region and different healthcare perspectives, so that we can come together and create a really unique medical school that’s going to offer a different approach to learning to what’s traditionally been delivered.”
What are your aspirations for the school?
“The outcome of the School should be to achieve regional impact on patients and communities. We should be creating doctors for Cumbria, in Cumbria so that they can support the delivery of the local healthcare systems, and the locals needs of the population. That has to be our overall outcome.
“I think there will be some great peripheral outcomes in terms of increased research, professional development, and interprofessional learning. Interdisciplinary learning will also be a great benefit for us as an institution. Working alongside Imperial too, there is a great collaboration there and a complimentary nature of us heavily being nursing/AHP focused, and Imperial being medics, the complimentary element of that is really clear to see, and will help deliver a great experience for our students.”
What do you bring to the team?
“Personally, I think the ability to bring that allied health professional lens into the conversation. Healthcare is now a multidisciplinary feat and you need to be able to interact with a number of different healthcare professionals, and having someone that is an allied health professional on the academic board and government board allows us to provide that perspective. I’ve also experienced delivering new models of education at a very large-scale across the country, so the understanding of how to deliver academic innovation is something that I have a lot of experience with over the last 10 years.”
What should prospective students expect?
“They will get a different experience to a traditional medical school, we will provide a more grounded programme within the local community, and we’ll also prepare medics to be ready to work across the system, to be more mobile and work within the challenging dynamic nature of Cumbria healthcare. So it will hopefully give a different perspective on medical education that will support the needs of what’s been identified in terms of the long-term plan and the challenges that face us in healthcare in the next 10 years.”