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Professors' reflections


“Our collaboration with Patients Know Best has produced many positive outcomes. Our students are getting a hands-on experience of communicating with patients using remote technologies – something that will prepare them for an increasingly important element of clinical care. The project has also enabled students to find out from patients what it is like to live with a long-term condition through interactions that have taken place over several months. This has allowed them to develop a deeper understanding of the issues patients face than could be achieved in a time-limited classroom teaching session. On top of that, many of the patients involved have gained from their participation, getting support from students and gaining confidence that could help them in their future contacts with healthcare services.” - Dr Andy Ward, Senior Clinical Educator (Leicester University)


“Our students will be working in new ways when they graduate so we wanted to provide them with experience of digital healthcare.” - Bob Morris, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy (Liverpool John Moores University)


“I’ve been using PKB as a novel tool in my teaching for this last academic year. Since the pandemic, we’ve struggled to come up with an alternative to some of our interactive teaching sections. With PKB, I’ve been able to get the students to work together in small multidisciplinary groups to plan the management of patients and prioritise their workload: the students loved this autonomy and the interactivity that it brings, and I’m excited to work with PKB in the near future to develop this learning opportunity even further." - Jodie Tyrrell, Senior Lecturer (University of Manchester)


"Really looking forward to working with you to empower our students to be digitally prepared. Your platform is a game changer" - Digital Health Project Coordinator (University of Winchester)


“This has allowed the students to get an opportunity to use technology in their communications with their patients and to enhance the students' understanding of the holistic care of a patient. The students get to put themselves ‘in the shoes of the patient’ and start to practise compassionate care”. - Mandie Scamell, Lecturer (City University, London)

Students' reflections


“As I embark onto my future as a Doctor, it is looking more and more likely that my practice will have a higher proportion of online consultations, similar to that shown to us with PKB. As a result, it’s fundamental that I must continue to treat each patient I encounter with the same active attention and empathy as I would have done if done in person. Following our conversations, I feel more passionate to ensure my patients feel valued.... I don’t want ‘patient centred care’ to be an empty phrase to my patients as I want them to be involved in their care and feel listened to. Moreover, as Covid has proven, technology will be at the forefront of healthcare consultations in the near future. Thus, this opportunity to use e-consultations has allowed me to hone skills that will be vital in future interactions with patients. What terrified me at the beginning was that I didn’t know what to expect from speaking to the two patients. I didn’t think I’d have anything useful to say or that I would say the wrong things. However, they were both so kind and made all of us feel safe. I genuinely think that they enjoyed our conversations and we very much did as well. I gained a lot of confidence in myself and I started working towards improving it in other ways, but I do believe that PKB was the first step towards bettering my communication skills.”


"PKB is not an assignment, it is an opportunity to develop professional skills, which are vital, especially after covid. Online communication with patients is more than just sending information, is about building a realistic picture about the patients, putting pieces of the puzzle together and try to understand what could be done for a patient”

Patient volunteers' reflections


“I have really enjoyed the experience and the two groups of medical students – the groups have been lovely to talk to as well.”


"We know that we (students and patients) are working toward the same thing, which is a better system. We are getting them ahead of the game: the next generation will be so much far ahead of the game compared to previous generations of practitioners because they are learning to really listen.”


"My students have been fantastic, they’d always come back. I really think this is the future.”


“Talking with the students and answering their questions was very interesting for me, because I haven’t thought about certain things about my health before. So I’m learning a lot about myself through PKB.”


“Students really understand how your condition is impacting your life.”


“It’s much more than what you’d get out of a 10min GP appointment.”


“The students I worked with this year were amazing. They were good to talk to and helped me when I was having a bad day. They recommended I speak to my doctor about some of the symptoms I was experiencing. I was referred to hospital and am now the proud owner of a Pacemaker which has turned my life around and feel so much better than I have for years. Because I asked each one to send a photograph of themselves it built up a kind of friendship with them. It has been a pleasure to do PKB with them. Also, they did their research when I told them I had eosinophilic asthma; it was obvious that they had done their research and looked into this condition. I have really enjoyed the experience and the two groups of medical students – the groups have been lovely to talk to as well. Their questions have certainly given me something to think about during the last academic year and lockdown after Christmas.”