Swansea gets a full 4-year Medicine Programme

It was very recently announced that the teaching of medicine to Swansea students will be performed entirely within the School of Medicine and the NHS Trust in Swansea. Currently students study for 2 years in Swansea and then another 2 years in clinical placements around Wales as part of the Cardiff University All-Wales Scheme.
The new course will begin in 2009, and from what I’ve seen will be a fairly radical integrative syllabus. All of the teaching will be moved around, avoiding separate “preclinical” and “clinical” halves to the course.
More work for us then! The Head of School did say that “This is a tribute to the outstanding clinical and medical science teaching we have delivered across School, and to all those clinical and non-clinical teaching, technical and administrative staff involved.” He’s right, this does make it feel like we’ve been doing a good job, and that we’ve been entrusted to do an even better job of training new doctors.
Wish us luck!

UC Berkeley first to post full lectures to YouTube

UC Berkeley are using YouTube to share lectures in a video format.
CNet reports “The school announced on Wednesday that it has begun posting entire course lectures on the Web’s No.1 video-sharing site.
“Berkeley officials claimed in a statement that the university is the first to make full course lectures available on YouTube. The school said that over 300 hours of videotaped courses will be available at youtube.com/ucberkeley.”
That’s funny, I was just thinking about this the other week and discussed the possibility of doing the same thing with a colleague. Not to the scale of 300 hours though…
CNet article


I’m home! We got back to Swansea around 3.30am this morning. It’s a bit of a culture shock, but it’s nice. As predicted by the Law of Sod I did develop a bit of Banjul Belly on the last day, but my cast-iron gut seems to be barely troubled by it, luckily.
Jack’s very happy to see me and has lots of questions about Africa. He’s been keeping up with this blog. I’ll try to pull together the photos of all the members of the scoping visit team to distribute to them and to better explain to Jack what I’ve been up to.
Now I’m home the work with The Gambia is only just beginning.
Scoping Gambia Svw 174
P.S. The internet speed at home seems blisteringly fast in comparison to what I’ve been used to!
P.P.S. I saw a Gambian take her first giggling trip on an escalator at Gatwick Airport. It was a very visual reminder of the differences between our two cultures, and emphasised the culture shock I’ve received returning home.

Leaving The Gambia

The teaching went well yesterday. I had sweat dripping from my nose into the chalk dust almost the whole time – I never realised that I moved around so much. The students understood me and behaved very similarly to students in Swansea. Hopefully I’ll see some of them again, but maybe in Swansea in the planned exchange visits.
We fly out today, from the heat of Africa back to the autumnal wind and rain of Wales. Autumnal wind and rain means there will be no mosquitos though, so I welcome it. Our plane is already delayed so I have no idea when we will actually make it home. I’m looking forward to getting back.
sgl.swanih.org news


Damnit! I’m covered in mossie spray and yet I’ve still been bitten. I’ve been bitten in one of the few places that I didn’t treat with insect repellent. Yes, I’ve been bitten on my arse.