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Introduction to Clinical Skills

Your first taste of clinical skills training will come on Fridays. Every Friday in first year, you will attend University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW). In the first term, you’ll be treated to lessons in communication skills and how to perform examinations on patients relevant to the learning you receive elsewhere (so, heart exams whilst learning about how the heart works!). For the keen, there are a set of videos on the Warwick Medical School YouTube page featuring some of the exams you'll be expected to perform by the end of the year (great revision resource). Friday's are also host to anatomy teaching with plastinates.

In the second and third terms, Friday's will continue as normal but in addition you will be exposed to real patients either on a Monday or a Tuesday at one of three hospitals; UHCW, George Eliot (Nuneaton) and Warwick hospital. This will be your first taste of applying the skills you’ve learned to real patients. You will be accompanied by a consultant who will guide your learning and find appropriate patients for you to practice on and talk with. Don't be intimidated by the thought of this! By this point you will be raring to meet actual patients, and put a face and a name to the conditions you've been learning about.

Some people found Fridays best when they took the time to go over the material (anatomy workbooks, learning outcomes) prior to the sessions. Friday teaching is based around group learning for both anatomy and clinical skills, so come with questions! If you don’t quite get a concept, bring that with you. Your shy classmates will thank you for asking.

Fridays are an opportunity to solidify and expand upon knowledge gained from lectures. For example, learning the valves of the heart prior to learning where to listen with your stethoscope for them may help solidify their locations and even functions in your mind.

The clinical skills tutors are there for your learning and are happy to help with any questions you have. Most of us will go on to use practical, clinical skills every day of our careers. This theme is here to prepare you for your everyday working life as a foundation doctor.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact myself at

Here is an example of an examination you will learn soon - the Thyroid. Featuring the smooth tones of Dr James Gill, who has since qualified as a GP.

There are more clinical skills videos available via your Clinical Skills moodle page.