As a course tutor on the ever popular health screening masters module at the University of Warwick I'm constantly impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm of our students.
This is the 8th time we've run our postgraduate course and yet again we had a wonderful cohort of students from across all 11 national population screening programmes, cross-programme teams and the screening quality assurance service.
Our students join us in Warwick Medical School for a week, where they learn from experts and researchers from Public Health England (PHE) and the university. The aim is to help them identify important ethical issues associated with screening and give them a better understanding of the way in which decisions are made on which screening programmes to introduce. The module is taught as a 5 day intensive study block comprising of lectures, group work and supervision.
We looked at important screening issues such as test accuracy, overdiagnosis, research and bias, quality assurance, health economics, ethics and policy making. The course is designed to help those working in screening or public health to take a step back and think about the principles of screening.
The latest group of students engaged in lively debates during their week and finished off by making group presentations.
We always ask our students how they have found the course and the latest cohort told us they really valued the opportunity to meet other enthusiastic and engaged colleagues.
Many told us how the week had challenged their beliefs and been “thought provoking”. Students also commented on the “excellent teachers” who were “very knowledgeable about the subject matter”. In particular, they highlighted talks by Angela Raffle, joint author of the leading international textbook on screening, Sue Cohen, who spoke about quality assurance, and PHE's Director of Screening Professor Anne Mackie.
Our students are now busy working on a 4,000-word assignment due on Wednesday 6 February 2019. This is where they put into practice everything they've learned over the week. All the tutors are really looking forward to reading the assignments and welcoming our next group in November 2019.
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