Leicester society wins international award for medical education through pandemic

A team of Leicester medical students has been recognised for going above and beyond to educate healthcare professionals despite the challenges of COVID-19. 

Leicester Insight, a peer-led teaching initiative at Leicester Medical School providing academic support to students in a number of interactive formats, has become the recipient of the prestigious Exceptional Educator Award from medical education platform MedAll.

MedAll commended their delivery of consistent high-quality medical education for medical students and professionals at a national and international scale – despite all the challenges of the pandemic. They are only one of 12 teams selected from over 600 healthcare organisations to receive the accolade. 

Leicester Insight is led by a team of undergraduate Medical students, including Sophie Reap and Ethan Kavanagh, who were the Co-Presidents of the society behind the team that won the reward. When asked about how they felt after being presented with the award, Ethan said:

“We’re pretty chuffed with it to be honest. We have achieved at least a nationwide award for our revision events, and not just for the fact that we’ve put on so many but also because of the level of feedback we get from every single event is the reason we won the Exceptional Educators Award.

“It’s the entire society that’s done this. We take part in the revision groups for the year below us, and we helped overlook the revision events for the other year groups that we’re not directly involved in but it’s the rest of our colleagues who are just as dedicated as we are at running high-level revision events.”

Dr Phil McElnay, a medical doctor himself and CEO at MedAll, said: “The Leicester Insight team have delivered medical education at a scale that is inspirational. Not only that, but they have gone above and beyond to make it accessible and open access. The World Health Organisation says we must train 18 million more healthcare professionals by 2030 which requires an innovative and scalable approach.

“The Leicester Insight team has shown us a glimpse of how we might just be able to achieve this. They have been inspirational in how they have delivered high quality teaching and training to thousands of healthcare students and professionals”. 

The University of Leicester is among the top 10 universities in the UK to receive funding for research into the impact of COVID-19 on both patient recovery and specific ethnic groups. 

Leicester Insight also paid tribute to the aid provided by Leicester Medical School during the pandemic to help them with running their sessions. Sophie added: “We’ve always had a good relationship with the medical school, and you know we’ve helped them run some of their events, and we’ve kind of collaborated with them on some events as well, and so I think they trust us to put on good events, and so it sort of reflected the fact that we do have a good relationship that they helped us use a platform and put out good quality revision.”

This story was written by James Greasley, a third-year Journalism student at the University of Leicester.