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Voice North's Involvement in Clinical Skills Training

I'm Emma McAllister, Clinical Skills lead for the Phase 1 Medical Students at Newcastle University. Members of voice north are involved within the clinical skills programme and I'd like to share the valuable contributions that they make.

The volunteers are an essential part of early clinical skills training within the medical school. Our students learn a range of skills and clinical examinations in the first 2 years of the programme in preparation for going out to the hospitals around the region in their 3rd year. Having the experience and confidence to converse with a range of patients in a range of settings is a big challenge for our students. Interacting with Voice North members helps the students to gain that confidence in communication, as well as gaining confidence in handling patients during clinical examinations. 

The students really enjoy it and take on board the feedback that they receive from the volunteers which is delivered on an individual basis. The way the sessions with the volunteers work is that the students are shown the examination and have half an hour to practice on each other. The volunteers then come in for the final hour and the students practice their communication and clinical skills on them. Each student then receives individual feedback from the volunteer about their communication skills and their general approach. 

Feedback from the students includes: 

"I always enjoy the patient interaction within this module. I think that it is extremely beneficial being able to practice our skills on the volunteers".


"Having the opportunity to practice on the volunteers really helped to improve my confidence and they gave me some useful feedback on how to improve my communication skills".


"The best feature [of the module] was the volunteer participation, which allowed you to work on the communication skills effectively"


Emma McAllister
Clinical Skills Lead
School of Medical Education
Newcastle University


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