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Global health - the local dimension

Warwick Medical School is proud of its international successes. The results of research undertaken on Gibbet Hill have been put into practice around the globe. However we don't have to go any further than our own doorstep, the Coventry and Warwickshire area, to see what impact Warwick Medical School is having on the world.

Nearly 1,000 doctors have graduated from Warwick Medical School since its creation in 2000. The School provides its students with a high quality learning experience. It’s successful MB ChB programme is the largest graduate-only course in the UK which is taught by staff at the forefront of their subjects, in state of the art teaching facilities and at local hospitals. Warwick Medical School aims to ensure that its programmes are underpinned by sound educational theory with delivery combining clinical, educational, administrative and technical expertise with an emphasis on multi-professional learning and reflection on practice.

Many of our alumni stay in the Coventry and Warwickshire area, setting up their own practices and working with the local primary care trusts and hospitals. As such, the education they receive at Warwick has an enormous impact on the local community. We often receive feedback from the public about their interactions with our alumni. Recently, a local resident and her husband made an emergency visit to University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. Whilst waiting for the diagnosis, she began talking to their doctor and found out that he had been trained at Warwick Medical School. After leaving the hospital she took the opportunity to let us know how impressed she had been with his manner and his knowledge:

His doctor/patient relationship was excellent. He was so well informed, courteous, reassuring and willing to provide explanations which were of help to both of us.

The presence of Warwick Medical School in the local community has had a range of benefits for the area. For example, October 2009 saw the opening of a new GP-led health centre in Warwickshire which was developed in conjunction with the School. The Camp Hill Centre, based in Nuneaton, was created as part of the Department of Health’s alternative providers medical services contracts which enable primary care trusts to deliver health services tailored to local needs. Warwick Medical School contributed towards the development of the health centre and created a learning environment for both its undergraduate and postgraduate students. The health centre will become a teaching hub, providing local leadership to teaching practices.

Reaching out to local people in a different way, the School has been working with the Apnee Sehat ('Our Health') project to launch a new outpatient unit aimed at tackling the problem of diabetes in Coventry's South Asian community. Patients of South Asian origin have a much higher risk of heart disease linked to diabetes than the wider community. Researchers from Warwick Medical School have put together a culturally sensitive, enhanced care package for general practices aimed at improving cardiovascular risk factors in patients with Type 2 diabetes. This included initiatives such as the 'Spice for Life' recipe book which was produced in association with Lasan, the award-winning Indian restaurant in Birmingham. The idea of the recipe book was to encourage people to cook healthier versions of Indian meals. Obesity and diabetes expert Professor Sudhesh Kumar of Warwick Medical School developed the recipes with Lasan's chef Aktar Islam.

Much of this work is funded by foundations, companies and private individuals - people who want to make a difference to the lives of their friends and families. Warwick Medical School is seeking to raise £20 million by 2015 to advance it’s research into these pressing health issues. If you think you can make a difference, visit our Giving pages to find out how you can get involved.