Back to Education


Back to Education!

As the days shorten the children and young adults have started a new school year. It is time for some to go on to third level here in Cork and further afield. Adults alike turn their thoughts to night courses in a diverse range of subjects. Here in The Grove Medical Centre we welcome a new batch of trainee doctors from UCC. They arrive anxious and apprehensive about their forthcoming experience with “real patients”.  Much of their education so far has consisted of learning from books and tutorials.  They are nervous about meeting people and trying to figure out what is wrong with them!

They find it difficult to know their place within the practice and consultation but soon find their feet.  Initially we ask the patient if they mind if a student doctor sits in during the consultation. The student has an opportunity to see how we, the doctors, manage the patient’s medical issues and figure out what is going on. They see us examine little babies, pregnant women and the elderly. In September we had Shakira, a lovely girl from Malaysia, and last month we had Adnan from New York.  Our next trainee doctor will be with us in December.

During the consultation we like to occasionally shoot questions at the trainees to make sure they are paying attention and to see where their knowledge level is.  Often we see that the patient is dying to answer the question!

As they grow in confidence we ask the student to “triage” patients; that is to take them into a room before their consultation with the doctor, to take a brief history and do some basic tests such as blood pressure and temperature. We ask them to present the history to us and we tell them how to improve on their presentation skills.  In general practice we see many interesting conditions and it is a great opportunity for them so see them in reality.  They have the chance to see and examine almost 20 people a day which would be impossible in a hospital setting. This is only made possible by patients kindly agreeing to give their time to the student doctor and allowing a second pair of untrained hands to feel their tummy or look at their throat. Our lovely patients are so understanding, they don’t mind us grilling the student in the middle of a consultation which can keep them in the room a little longer.  It can be interesting for the patient to see what is going on in the mind of the doctor during the consultation; the thought processes that allow us to come up with the likely diagnosis and what the other “differentials” are.

Our trainee doctors have enjoyed their experiences with us so far.  They are amazed at how much we know about our patients, about their lives and families.  They see us enjoy a friendly conversation about weather, children and holidays before diving into the medical end of things.  They see that each consultation can be a building brick from the last; we already know what the patients issues are which allows us get to the point much faster than hospital based doctors.  They learn how we try to gently encourage our patients to give up smoking, lose weight or exercise more.

Behind the scenes we try to organise a house call for our students so they can see a patient in their own home. This is a vital part of their training which wouldn’t happen in any other specialty.  Again, we are lucky that our patients kindly agree to welcome these young doctors and others into their home and allow them to spend some time asking questions and seeing how they are.

We also encourage our students to learn practical skills such as giving an injection (which until then they may have only had a chance to inject an orange) or take some blood samples.  All under direct supervision of course!

We love to have the chance to be part of the training of future doctors.  Joe and I try to teach them kindness, understanding and patience with people.  We teach our students simple skills to put adults and little children at their ease and make the examination as easy as possible.  We hope that they enjoy their time in the Grove and understand the important role of general practice in a community.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our patients who willingly give their time to our students to improve their experience with us.


Opening Hours

Monday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Thursday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm
CLOSED 1.00pm - 2.00pm

Practice News

Contact Us

The Grove Medical Centre, Main Rd, Ballincollig, Co. Cork.
Phone: 021 4877817
Fax: 021 4877930