Two Research Associates working with the National School of Healthcare Science have presented the initial findings of their current projects at the 2018 Birmingham Conference. Megan Smith and Jaimini Patel, who are both studying for Master of Research degrees at the University of Birmingham, are evaluating various aspects of the Scientist Training Programme as part of the Healthcare Scientist Training Research and Evaluation Group, a collaborative venture between the School and the University’s Institute of Clinical Sciences.
Megan and Jaimini have a keen interest in education delivery and clinical training and have both carried out extensive quantitative and qualitative research into two separate topics. They attended the conference in order to deliver poster presentations on their initial findings.
Megan is leading on a project which compares the scores received by STP applicants on both general aptitude tests and interviews, at recruitment to the STP, with the scores they achieved on the Objective Structured Final Assessment (OSFA). Her aim is to establish whether aptitude tests and interviews are a good predictor of OSFA performance at the end of the programme.
Jaimini has examined the professional standards of a number of healthcare professions, including medicine and nursing, and compared them to those of healthcare scientists. Her focus is on whether or not the standards of each profession foster and promote clinical leadership in their field.
The Birmingham Conference is held annually on the University’s main Edgbaston campus and is a forum for health professionals to share, and be inspired by, the latest cutting-edge medical education research. Last year, the School’s Digital Team attended the conference and delivered a presentation on the merits of using massive open online courses (MOOCs), such as those on FutureLearn, to deliver medical education. Their talk was well-received and generated plenty of interest in this rapidly-developing tool which has the potential to widen access to, and raise awareness of, healthcare science education.
Both Megan and Jaimini will continue to work with the School through the Research and Evaluation Group and already have other projects in the pipeline including one which will look into the career journeys of healthcare scientists. Research into this topic is hard to come by but is highly sought-after. Megan and Jaimini will focus on a number of areas including career aspirations, application processes, pay and conditions which will be compared and contrasted with those other professions in the healthcare sphere. Their findings will provide a valuable insight into the healthcare science workforce and how it is being affected by the Modernising Scientific Careers agenda.