University of St Andrews
Implementation of Realistic Medicine will require a very clear demonstration of risk-defined practice. This will be the only way of bringing about safer, more efficient care in more centralised facilities. Patients will have to be shown clear evidence that they have a better outcome from a new way of doing things. Concern about travel time will have to be offset by improved outcomes. This will require data and its communication. It should, however, help with dealing with unwarranted variation.
What have we done so far?
As a medical School at St Andrews we have a responsibility to drive home these issues at the early stages. We have majored on introducing communication skills training early in the course and have expanded the number of staff who teach in this area.
We have, in partnership with the University of Dundee launched a Graduate Entry Medical Degree course to take in students in 2018. The training will be overtly in the community for this course and will instil the principles of conducting medicine in this environment with these complex patients
We should consider going beyond Realistic Medicine to 'Safe and Realistic Medicine'. Patient safety is a major issue and we need to make all healthcare encounters safer.
Email: Catherine Calderwood