Medical students

Our undergraduate medical education team …

In NELFT we believe that focusing our efforts on supporting future healthcare professionals is at the heart of working towards a sustainable NHS. Our undergraduate medical education team is headed by the associate dean for medical students who works in close liaison with the fellow of medical education, the undergraduate medical administrator, the director of medical education and the manager of medical education.

We are a BIG trust …

NELFT has clinical teams over four boroughs in East London; Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Barking & Dagenham and Havering, in addition to both Essex and Kent. With our services spreading across three counties of England including the capital, we provide our students with a free Taxi service to be able to commute between our sites. We also offer free accommodation at Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Trust BHRUT which is available to students on demand. Finally, we have two main libraries supporting our students at Goodmayes hospital and the Jane Atkinson Centre.

Our university partnerships …

We work closely with Barts and The London School of Medicine & Dentistry at QMUL, King’s College London & University College London to provide clinical experiences for medical students in Psychiatry and other specialties of Medicine. We are also involved with these schools of Medicine in updating their curriculums in order to support the new challenges facing future doctors.

Our clinical placements …

2nd Year QMUL Medical Students

We provide Medicine in Society (MedSoc) placements to 2nd-year medical students. These placements take place over 12 weeks between October and April across a range of mental health and community health services in North East London and South West Essex.

The placements provide the students with insight into the structure of NHS organizations, with an emphasis on the patient experience, different care pathways, the respective role of each member of the multi-disciplinary team and the interfaces between different services.

Previous students’ feedback:

‘Enthusiastic teachers’

‘Lots of teaching; observed various clinics’


4th Year QMUL Medical Students

We provide clinical psychiatry placements to 4th-year medical students as part of their neurology-psychiatry (Brain, Mind & Behavior) rotation. Based on the Psychiatry curriculum and previous students feedback, we split our 5-weeks long placements into:

  • Two weeks of general adult psychiatry experience; both inpatient and community.
  • One week of taster sessions in subspecialties like Liaison psychiatry, Forensic, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Learning Disability, Psychiatric Intensive Care, Perinatal Psychiatry, ECT, Eating Disorders & Home Treatment Team.
  • Two weeks of older adult psychiatry experience; both inpatient and community.
  • We also support students who are interested in getting further experience by shadowing on-call junior doctors.

The placements start with a full induction day covering an overview of mental illness, the misconceptions and stigma attached to it. Students are prepared for their placements and given information about the nature of mental health wards, tips for clinical skills, management of aggression, how to raise concerns, library induction and electronic records system training.

In addition to the teaching by the clinical supervisors, there is a regular teaching program on Fri afternoons in Clinical Skills Sessions using simulation to improve practice with professional actors and experienced facilitators. The topics covered include; depression, mania, psychosis, eating disorders, alcohol misuse and cognitive assessments.

More opportunities are given to students to improve their clinical skills in a mock OSCE half-day towards the end of the placements with 6 simulation scenarios covering basic psychiatric competency skills and using professional actors. Students are given individual and written feedback from facilitators as well as the actors and in some cases service users’ network representatives.

Over the years we have developed various innovative ways of teaching that are student-focused such as:

  • Hearing Voices Simulation: A popular session with all our students aiming to increase empathy with patients suffering with psychotic illness.
  • Critical Psychiatry Debates: An innovative learning activity that NELFT is leading and introducing to the QMUL students’ curriculum to foster their critical thinking ability.
  • Reflective Practice: Linking reflective practice to clinical practice and introducing the theory of adult learning then discussing cases within the framework of Gibbs reflective cycle
  • VR Simulation: We are piloting the use of VR in learning via simulation.

We try to support the students with last minute preparation for finals by arranging mock OSCE half-days to practice Psychiatry stations for a full week in June/July to over 150 students.

Previous students’ feedback:

‘Friendly team, felt welcome’

‘Felt supported and safe on the ward’

‘Wide range of topics and regular teaching’

‘Mock OSCE and taking histories from patient actors was excellent, very useful’

‘Wide variety of cases, lots of patients to see’


5th Year QMUL Medical Students

We offer Student Selected Component opportunities to 5th-year medical students. These placements provide an in-depth experience of their field of interest.

The students can select these components via the medical school’s manual of available SCCs or by contacting NELFT Medical Education team or by individual agreement with a supervising consultant.

4th Year KCL Medical Students

We provide clinical placements in Child & Adolescents mental health services in Kent to 4th year medical students from King’s College University.

5th Year UCL Medical Students

We provide clinical placements in community pediatrics in Essex to 5th year medical students from University College London.

A Level Summer School

Finally, we offer work experience placements to A level students preparing for future careers in Medicine. These placements are for a full week in the summer holiday, usually July. Students get a wide variety of experiences; clinical observership, teaching sessions, career guidance and simulated medical school interviews

Twitter …

NELFT engages with different stakeholders using social media platforms. Follow our Medical Education Twitter account @NelftMedEd for updates on all our exciting projects and to interact with us.

Email …

For any inquiries, please email us at