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Medical School Deals With Trainee Doctors' Lack of Sleep

Teaching staff at Warwick Medical School have long been concerned that Trainee doctors do not get enough sleep. Sleep in the classroom that is. Despite sleep patterns being a major contributor to a number of illnesses on average most undergraduate doctors in the UK receive only 5 minutes education on sleep medicine. Warwick Medical School has now moved to address that balance.

Warwick Medical School has just ended a pilot year in which it offered a sleep study option to its curriculum for trainee doctors. In the pilot year 10 students signed up for the special option which gave them over 30 hours of sleep study.

The course inspired one of the students (Andy Currie) so much that he had an article published in BMJ careers journal and another student on the course, Sarah Padley, has decided to take her sleep studies further choosing to work with sleep specialists in Harvard for her elective.

Andy Currie said:

"Problems sleeping is one of the commonest reasons a patient will present to their doctor and yet sleep medicine receives hardly any coverage in the undergraduate curriculum. Warwick Medical School is progressive in that it runs a special sleep study module where students are exposed to all aspects of sleep and can see patients in sleep laboratories."

Now, with the support of a £2 million donation from international biopharmaceutical company Cephalon Inc., Warwick Medical School intends to expand its special sleep study module, allowing a greater number of students to participate. The donation will also allow the University of Warwick to develop a new stream of sleep related research. Professor Francesco Cappuccio has this week taken up the post of Cephalon Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine and Epidemiology at Warwick Medical School and will build a research team that will examine the relationship of sleep to a number of other health factors. Cephalon Inc. has funded two sleep related chairs to date, at Harvard University and now at Warwick Medical School.

For further information please contact:

Professor Ed Peile, Associate Dean (Teaching)
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick Tel: 024 76573088

Andy Currie Sarah Padley can be contacted via Peter Dunn whose details follow:

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick Tel: 02476 523708 or 07767 655860

PR53 PJD 26th July 2005