Day Release Course

About the DRC

The ST3 Day Release Course (DRC) is based at Bournemouth University.  All ST3s attend each Wednesday for 20 weeks a year.

The schedule for the DRC is integrated with ST1/2 teaching.  The academic year commences in August and runs each Wednesday in weeks 1, 2 and 4 of the month with ST1/2 teaching in week 3.  There is no meeting on 5th weeks when these occur.  In addition there are several weeks each year when the Programme Directors are involved in other Deanery education events and the course is usually not run on these days.  Details of the ST3 Day Release programme can be found under the teaching programme section of the website.

On ‘non-Day Release’ Wednesdays trainees usually work in their practices but they may take study leave on some of these days, by agreement with the trainer.

There are two over-night residential courses each year – a Communication Skills Course in the autumn and a GP Management Course in the spring.

A mock CSA session is held at the end of the autumn term and the Programme Directors also facilitate a practice exchange programme for the summer term and a ‘practice computer crawl’ to allow ST3s to experience different computer software systems.

During GP training there is a fundamental shift in learning style.  This transition is from the rote learning of school and undergraduate training to the self-directed learning style essential for doctors working in general practice.  This transition can be challenging and trainees are guided along this journey with the aim of acquiring the skills and experience to become motivated, self-directed learners.

A Typical DRC Day

The morning session is spent in five small groups of trainees, who stay together for the entire year.  Each group has a dedicated Programme Director who acts as a facilitator and provides pastoral support.  Each group has freedom within the time allowed to set the agenda for the session, but usually the time is divided equally between open case discussion and focus on a particular topic. Group members take turns to prepare material for topics.

After lunch the smaller groups join together into one larger group in the afternoon for a speaker-led session on a particular topic.  Sessions are usually interactive and often case-based.  Feedback from trainees is used to refine the course each year.

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Teaching Programme

Go to the ST3 Training Programme.

Please find the programme here: ST3

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Residential Courses

There are two residential courses each year on the Dorset VTS. These provide an excellent opportunity for trainees to spend some time away from their practices, getting to know each other better. There is time for relaxation and fun as well as some intensive learning.

Communication Course

This two-day course is held near the beginning of the ST3 year. This allows each trainee group to get to know each other better. The course focuses on various aspects of advanced communication, building on skills learnt in the earlier stages of the training programme. Trainees have a chance to practice new techniques in a safe environment using role-play scenarios, including some telephone consultations. There is also a chance to practice skills in authentic consultations with professional actors.

Trainees find the course an invaluable learning experience, which helps them in their daily surgeries and also during preparation for the consulting skills analysis (CSA) component of MRCGP.

Management and Leadership Course

This two-day course runs in the second half of the year and focuses on aspects of management and leadership in primary care. Trainees participate in a series of interactive modules on a range of topics relevant to general practice management.
Trainees frequently voice their concerns about feeling unprepared and anxious about management in general practice. This course helps to address some of these fears and uncertainties and it is highly relevant to all trainees, whatever their future career plans.

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