News archive 2005
Thoroughly modern medics22 Nov 2005, PR 101/05
Earlier this year, three King's medical students took up the challenge of going back in time to see how their knowledge and skills compare to those of doctors in the 1950s. See how they got on every day this week at 15.30 on the BBC2 show, Thoroughly Modern Medics.
Adam Joiner, Togay Koc and Awais Bokhari joined three other students from across the country in Belfast in August. There they were put on a reconstructed 1950s hospital ward where they experienced some of the training methods of the day all under the watchful eye of the programme's Consultant and Registrar. They had to adhere to the rules, ethics and sensibilities of a 1950s hospital whilst dealing with ailments, medications and equipment which they were highly unlikely to have seen before.
Their experience has proved, at least to them, that today's brightest can still do it ‘old style'. Though the ‘1950s doctors' seemed to revel in dishing out plenty of old-fashioned teaching by humiliation, off screen the consultant, Dr Mike Smith, was generous with his praise of the students, commending them on their systematic approach to taking a patient history. He himself had trained at Guy's Hospital in the 1950s.
The three students agreed that although some of the tasks they were asked to carry out were things that they would never have to do now – such as sterilising syringes or using mouth pipettes – much of the work was the same as it is today. Adam explains: ‘There is certainly more paperwork now, but taking a history, examining the patient and making a diagnosis; these things have been the same for hundreds of years.'
Overall, the three medics were happy to have taken part. Awais enjoyed learning more about the history of his profession, and Adam felt the extra practical experience would help calm his nerves during his practical exams. Let's hope they feel the same when they have seen themselves on screen!
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is the fourth oldest university in England with more than 13,700 undergraduates and nearly 5,600 graduate students in nine schools of study based at five London campuses. It is a member of the Russell Group: a coalition of the UK's major research-based universities. The College has had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level, and it has recently received an excellent result in its audit by the Quality Assurance Agency.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, international relations, medicine, nursing and the sciences, and has played major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of health care professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres – more than any other university.
King's is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings, with income from grants and contracts of more than £114 million, and has anannual income of more than £369 million.
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