The day release course is split into three terms during the ST3 year (autumn, spring and summer). Teaching occurs every Wednesday during these terms and is predominantly based at the University of Winchester. The terms are structured to complement the stages of ST3 development, with topics such as practice management being introduced in the autumn and a career morning in the spring when registrars who have done their exams will be looking at the next step.
A typical session on the DRC will be held at the University of Winchester with registration at 0850 and the session beginning at 0900. There is a refreshment break at approx. 1100 and the session will end at 1300.
The course offers a varied and adaptive curriculum from clinical lectures on the treatment of common conditions, to discussions and seminars on ethical dilemmas and the professional challenges faced by General Practitioners. We organise practice visits so registrars can gain insight into how different practices are run and residentials on business management and the management of change.
Small group work is viewed as an important aspect of the day release programme. The small groups offer registrars the valuable opportunity to discuss difficult cases with peers as well as go into further detail about topics that may have been discussed in recent lectures. The Programme Directors are on hand to offer their experience and guidance however the registrars are given the opportunity to lead the focus of these sessions.
Registrars are required to give presentations during their time on the course. We try and timetable it so everyone has at least one go! We believe these are valuable exercises that are intended to not only improve the quality of the sessions, but also help you relate the course to your time in practice.
Presentations should last no more than 20-30 minutes, including time for group discussion. There are 2 different types of presentation you will be asked to give, these are outlined as follows:
Trainee Inspiration: Registrars may like to discuss a book, play, poem, film, piece of music etc. that has relevance to medical practice. Discussion should revolve around how practice has been changed or improved as a result. It is also an opportunity to present feelings and arguments around a subject of current importance in Primary Care.
Literature Update: Registrars should look critically at a piece of literature, either from a medical journal, management journal, or pharmaceutical company.
The Mid-Wessex Day Release Course currently run two residential courses during the ST3 year. As well as providing stimulating educational content, these courses also offer the invaluable opportunity to discuss your training with peers in a unique environment away from the distractions of work and home life.