Aston Medical School: Supporting students prepare for a career in medicine

Andy Doyle shares how he ensures students and staff have access to the latest, accurate information.

By Andy Doyle
Sep 08, 2021

Preparing for clinical practice

Keen to find out more about Andy, we asked a few questions about his role at Aston University. “My current role at Aston University is my first in higher education. A key responsibility is to support Aston Medical School in ensuring the information needs of students and staff are met.”

“I am responsible for identifying and facilitating the availability of required resources alongside supporting the development of information literacy through classroom teaching and other means.” Interested in the support that Andy helps provide students and staff, we discussed this in more detail.

“Having spent eight years working in the library of a large NHS teaching hospital I’ve seen first-hand how effective evidence-based point of care tools are for healthcare professionals. Making sound decisions in a challenging and dynamic working environment requires access to timely, accurate and relevant information.”

“From a higher education perspective, I think it’s important that students are exposed to resources that they will use once they graduate. BMJ Best Practice helps students prepare for clinical practice, so, when I joined the team, I was both pleased and reassured to see that Aston University subscribe to it.”

“What better way to prepare students for clinical practice than to provide access to this point of care tool that they are very likely to use throughout their career.”

Andy Doyle

Knowing that Andy is responsible for managing BMJ Best Practice within Aston University, we asked how the library engage with new starters.

“When giving demonstrations on BMJ Best Practice to colleagues and teaching staff within the Medical School, I include examples of how and where the resource might be used in learning and teaching. Feedback following demonstrations is always positive. Both colleagues and staff like how the information is continually updated and that it is relevant.”

“Raising awareness of library resources to staff and students is an ongoing process. BMJ supports our awareness raising activities by providing promotional materials and has supplied prizes for our yearly competition for first year medical students. The competition follows a classroom session on BMJ Best Practice, prior to their first clinical placement. To enter, students must complete a quiz that requires them to use the resource.”

“This is the ideal time to introduce BMJ Best Practice to the students and helps to prepare them for their first clinical placement. Students can experience how this point of care tool can be used to support their learning, not just throughout their studies, but also during their clinical practice.”

“I’d recommend BMJ Best Practice to universities because it’s an easy-to-use, evidence-based resource, immensely useful to both students and staff.”

Andy Doyle

Helping students achieve their goals

During our discussion, Andy touched on his favourite part of his role.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to hear from students and teaching staff how the support we provide has
helped them achieve their goals. Ultimately this is what we are here to do. By providing access to high quality resources, we are helping to prepare them for their future careers in medicine.”

We finished by asking Andy whether he would recommend BMJ Best Practice to other universities and why. “I’d recommend BMJ Best Practice to universities because it’s an easy-to-use, evidence-based resource, immensely useful to both students and staff.”

“What better way to prepare students for clinical practice than to provide access to this point of care tool that they are very likely to use throughout their career.”

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For a demo of BMJ Best Practice for your institution, please contact our team.