Changing the conversation about health

Healthy Ageing multi-disciplinary summer school

DSC00953 After the success of the College’s inaugural student summer school at the University of Southampton in 2011, a 2011 alumni student, (a medical student from the University of Birmingham called Eleanor Crossley) contacted the then Dean of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham to recommend that they host 2012’s event. We were also delighted to win Waitrose support.

The College was very pleased to be approached by the University of Birmingham to do this and developed an excellent relationship with Eleanor and Dr Nicola Gale, College of Medical and Dental Sciences and Professor Janet Lord, Centre for Health Ageing Research and the MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research, to develop the programme for 2012’s Healthy Ageing Summer School. The topic of healthy ageing was chosen after consultation with our Student Network and in view of the unique set of social, economic and healthcare challenges that our increasingly ageing population presents for a system which will have comparatively fewer healthcare resources.

2012’s event saw the Summer School double in size, with students attending from 11 different disciplines and from across the country as demand for this kind of learning opportunity amongst grew rapidly amongst students. This year’s programme also saw the inclusion of community groups and projects as well as service users as we believe that it’s vital to show that much more of healthcare takes place outside of the typical consultation.

Additional materials

Report from a student who attended

Film from one of the sessions


Quotes from participants

An academic hosting the summer school said:

‘The 2012 College of Medicine summer school was held at the University of Birmingham with the topic of Healthy Ageing. it was a pleasure to work with the COM to organise this extremely worthwhile event. Over the two day programme students from a broad range of health professionals, from podiatrists to dentists, learned of the latest research on healthy ageing. As important, the COM ensured they were given the opportunity to interact with older adults to discuss their experiences of different aspects of old age from retirement to sexual health to spirituality.

Throughout the COM were professional and their experience of organising such events, ensured good uptake from students and the commitment of time and resources by the host. I think the COM summer school provides a unique and valuable experience to trainee health professionals.’ Professor of Immune Cell Biology, Director of MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research, Director of Medawar Centre for Healthy Ageing Research, University of Birmingham

Quotes from students:

‘I was reminded of many of the key principles of healthcare, and that compassionate and sane practice is possible! I find the College of Medicine is invaluable in helping me to stick to my values when practicing, and continues to convince me of the incredible evidence base for being compassionate and creative, both for our patients and ourselves’ – Student, 2012

Many of the speakers reminded us of the need for humanity in the health professions. Too often professionals can get swamped in the academics of their profession but forget the need to be kind, considerate, compassionate and build good rapport – Student, 2012

‘I think there are a lot of people who would benefit from being influenced by the ethos of the college of medicine’ – Student, 2012