In August, we launched our summer break competition to explore why professionalism is important for medical students. This followed the release of Achieving good medical practice, the new joint GMC and Medical Schools Council (MSC) guidance on student professionalism.

Here, Ioanna Maraki, Education Policy Manager at the GMC, announces the winning entries and tells us what made them stand out to the judges. 

We didn’t know how many entries to expect to our student competition, but we were really happy to receive 57 entries from over 100 students across the UK. We had representatives from 25 medical schools, all year groups and a few collaborations between different schools.

We received some very impressive sessions from students, and we really admired how much effort and creativity had gone into their design.

Choosing which entries to shortlist was no easy task – we received some very impressive sessions from students, and we really admired how much effort and creativity had gone into their design. The standard was very high so we want to thank all the students who took part for their hard work – it was a privilege to look through the entries, and we hope to run more competitions like this in the future.

And the winner is…

When deciding on a winner, it came down to which entries gave the message that professionalism was important across the board, and demonstrated how the elements of the guidance were important for medical students. As experienced educators, the judges also took into account which sessions they envisaged working most effectively when delivered to a student audience.

The winning entry was from Bethany Lloyd, a fifth year student from the University of Aberdeen, who designed a funny and impactful session.

With that in mind, the winning entry was from Bethany Lloyd, a fifth year student from the University of Aberdeen, who designed a funny and impactful session drawing parallels between skydiving and the importance of professionalism. This is what the judges said:

‘It brought out that professionalism really actually matters.’

‘Professionalism is hard to engage with and this made it happen through humour.’

‘The session plan was excellent, it was funny, made me laugh out loud, and it came through that professionalism isn’t something you can do most of, you have to do everything.’

‘I really enjoyed the first part because by using the analogy of a skydiving instructor, the medical student immediately grasps that all this professionalism stuff is not an optional ‘add on’ – who wants a technically brilliant parachute instructor who you can’t trust to wrap your parachute or who can’t explain what you need to do?’

Judges deliberating the entries
The judging panel – pictured (L-R): Prof Hilary Neve (Co-Chair of UK Council of Teachers for Professionalism), Prof Terence Stephenson (GMC Chair) Katie Petty-Saphon (MSC Chief Executive), Martin Hart (GMC Assistant Director for Undergraduate Education), Clare Owen (MSC Policy Adviser)

Here’s to the runners up

One of the two runners up was a group entry from fourth year students at Cardiff University School of Medicine (Benjamin Quek, Carys Durie and Shafqat Batchelor). They designed a fictional Facebook profile, and accompanying teaching materials, to illustrate what behaviours may be perceived as unprofessional through social media. The judges were impressed with the level of detail that had gone into creating the session and accompanying Facebook profile.

The judges were impressed with the level of detail that had gone into creating the session.

The other runner up was an entry from Ciaran Grafton Clarke, a fourth year student from The University of Liverpool. Ciaran’s session also focused on social media and presented a series of scenarios where the audience had to consider the behaviour of medical students, other healthcare professionals and patients. The judges enjoyed how snappy and focused the session was, and how authentic the scenarios were.

We will be sharing the winning session with all UK medical schools as a teaching resource and hope other students will find it as powerful and entertaining as we did! Bethany will also be at GMC conference on 6 December to deliver her workshop – register here to take part.

What were we looking for?

When assessing the entries we used a set of criteria and marked all sessions based on the following:

  • Accuracy: has the applicant interpreted and presented our guidance correctly?
  • Engaging: are the session plan and materials interesting and engaging?
  • Learning: are the learning objectives impactful and deliverable by the session plan?
  • Spirit of the guidance: does the session communicate the messages of the guidance well?
  • Innovation: are the session plan and materials original?
  • Meeting the brief: does the session stick to the brief and deliver what we have asked for?

Each entry was reviewed by two people from different teams in the GMC and the MSC and we then all met to discuss which sessions should be shortlisted.

After careful consideration, we agreed on six shortlisted entries. These were passed on to our judging panel which met on 31 October to make the final decision on the competition winner and runner ups.

Congratulations to the winner and runners up and thanks again to all who entered the competition!

You can read the guidance and find supporting materials such as case studies on our website. If you are a student and would like to hear more about professionalism and find opportunities to get involved, you can also sign up for GMC news for students.

If you’d like to take part in the winning session, register for our conference on 6 December where Bethany will deliver her session for delegates. Tickets for medical students are £15 when you use the discount code ‘student10’ – please remember to bring your student ID on the day. Tickets for non-students are £25.

Related posts

Join us on The Student Room to discuss a series of scenarios based on our guidance for medical students 

Prof Terence Stephenson blogs about our review of how we can collaborate with others to make medical training more flexible 

Kate Thomas, Vice Dean of the University of Birmingham’s medical school, tells us why she’s optimistic about the GMC’s new guidance for students