Starting Early: Student Activism

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What is our society?

The University of Birmingham Palliative Care Society (BPCS) is run by students from healthcare courses who are passionate about palliative. Students have many reasons for joining the BPCS committee, but we are all keen to promote the palliative care profession to other students, encouraging increased education of the principles of palliative care that are so vital for all aspects of healthcare.

What do we do?

Our events mainly focus on improving education of palliative care to other students and raising money for local hospices. As a relatively small society, we often collaborate with other societies, for example with our ‘have you considered?’ event that highlights the less familiar specialties, allowing students to gain a better understanding and explore the training pathways relevant to them post-medical school.

Our teaching sessions cover a wide range of subjects, from understanding the role of the palliative care multidisciplinary team to pharmacological management towards the end of life. We often ask practicing doctors or those with an interest in the field to deliver these sessions, so that students can have access to information from professionals.

A highlight of the BPCS’s calendar is the ever-popular clinical communication exam practice session. For this we ask palliative care doctors to facilitate stations on palliative care communication, supported by role players from the Birmingham Medical School’s Interactive Skills Unit, enabling students to experience a simulated environment in preparation for their exams.

Raising the awareness of palliative care is also achieved through fundraising for local hospices. We have done this through raffles and bake sales at our past events. We are also planning an exam wellbeing package for students to purchase or send to their friends, as we feel that self-care is also an important aspect of working in medicine and the palliative care profession.

What do we have planned?

As we move through the academic year, we are conscious of our desire to promote the exposure of palliative care within healthcare students. We are planning a paediatric palliative care teaching session with the paediatrics society and an event exploring palliative care for refugees with the University’s Docs Not Cops society. We will also be running a teaching series based on the core areas of palliative care to aid revision for students.

Sam Jennings
2023/24 President BPCS
Email Sam
Birmingham Palliative Care Society | Facebook

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