I attended this year's screening module at Warwick University. I’m an ophthalmologist with a master’s degree in public health but that qualification had very little content in terms of screening.
As I'm significantly involved in screening and the quality assurance of screening, I therefore thought this module might be a worthwhile piece of personal development.
I applied for funding for the module through PHE – the application form is on the Continuing professional development for screening website. Funding is available for a small number of candidates every year and it is a competitive process. Filling out and submitting the application was straightforward and not particularly time consuming, so it’s well worth doing if you're considering this as a career development goal.
PHE funds the course fees only, so I had to weigh up the cost of either staying near the university or travelling daily from Stoke-on-Trent (I opted for the latter).
The course lasts for 5 days, so it made quite a dent in my study leave allowance. This concerned me a little when I applied. I studied my master’s degree in public health by distance learning so was wondering if it really was going to be worth travelling to Warwick on a daily basis for 5 days.
Thankfully the answer was a definite yes. The 2 main teachers, Aileen and Sian, had a relaxed and effective teaching style and there were guest speakers – Angela Raffle no less – so I felt I was being taught by leading experts in the field. The course was well structured with a clear narrative throughout the week including group work every afternoon. I’m not that keen on group work as a rule, but this was structured so that it supplemented and reinforced the more informative teaching of the morning. In addition, it prepared me well for the 4,000-word assignment. The written handouts were good quality and something that I’ll keep and refer to again.
It was also nice to meet other professionals involved in all aspects of screening and to listen to their views and hear about the issues they face. I was a bit disappointed though to be the only medic on the course – this would be an excellent course for most clinical leads to undertake.
In short, attending the screening module was a definite plus. It was interesting and thought provoking and I think it would be of value to anyone involved in screening. The PHE funding was a definite bonus of course!
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