Gynaecology and Breast Teaching Associates
Gynaecology Teaching Associates (GTA)
Gynaecology Teaching Associates are lay women who have been trained to teach students how to perform pelvic examinations and take cervical smears. This scheme was first introduced in the UK at King’s by Professor Janice Rymer in 2005 following a randomised trial performed at the Medical School showing that the students who were trained by GTAs had significantly better technical and communication skills compared to students who were exposed to traditional training.
Professor Rymer received a BUPA communication award for the GTA programme which, since its introduction at King’s, has been established at other medical schools in the UK.
“GTAs are very very supportive; they help you use the right words, how to behave in a professional yet caring manner. I feel very confident now if I had to do a VE or smear test.”
“Learning this sensitive and potentially embarrassing procedure in a situation where there is no pressure of time that might occur if we were learning in a clinical setting.”
“Much more informal and less daunting than having older doctors teaching us.”
Breast Teaching Associates (BTA)
Professor Janice Rymer received a BUPA communication award for the GTA programme and this money was put towards a BTA study performed by Dr Lucy Chappell. This study showed that students felt more confident in taking a history from patients presenting with breast problems and examining the breasts after the BTA training, preparing them well for interacting with women in a “stressful” breast clinic.
“The really good thing is if you do your BTA session before breast week and you have never examined a women’s breast then you are absolutely terrified because you don’t know how hard to press, how less to press, where your hands are meant to be, so for that it is really good”