From continuity of care to continuity in education: Exploring longitudinal integrated clerkships in the UK

Talk Code: 
Neha Ahuja and co-authors
Neha Ahuja, Andrew McKeown, Ravi Parekh, Sonia Kumar
Author institutions: 
Dr. Neha Ahuja, Imperial College London, Dr. Andrew McKeown, Imperial College London, Dr. Ravi Parekh, Imperial College London, Dr. Sonia Kumar, Imperial College London


With an ageing, multi-morbid and clinically complex patient population in the UK, there is a need for medical students to develop a generalist approach to patient care within a strained health service. Undergraduate placements in primary care allow medical students to learn from undifferentiated presentations over time, with an integration of complex medical, psychological and social problems.   However, the traditional model of primary care placements often involves passive observation, brief encounters with patients, and limited utilisation of students as active participants within the GP Practice team. Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (LIC) are a novel and innovative approach to education developed internationally, which empower students to take an active learning approach, through the principles of continuity with their patients, supervisors and integration of their learning across specialities.    


Participants will develop their understanding of the principles of LICs and consider how they may be applied in the UK primary care context.    


We hope participants will:              

  • Develop an understanding of the definition and key principles behind LICs 
  • Consider how this may be applied within their own contexts             
  • Discuss barriers and benefits of implementing this model of learning      


  • Short introduction to the key principles of LICs 
  • Small group work utilising interactive online white board software to consider how these principles can be applied in personal contexts 
  • Small group work brainstorming potential benefits, barriers and solutions to utilising an LIC approach 
  • Feedback to large group and summary    


LICs are a model of education that allows students to take a meaningful role within their placement, becoming active members within clinical teams. Students work with a panel of patients with a variety of clinical presentations and follow them through their journey of care, across healthcare settings and specialities. Students are able to advocate and start to take responsibility for their patients.   This active approach to learning has been shown to develop students’ sense of responsibility, a more patient-centred approach and an ability to cope with complex ethical dilemmas. The continuity of relationship with their supervisor allows for a nurturing and personalised approach to develop the students’ knowledge, skills and attributes.    LICs are well established in the USA, Australia and Canada, and are starting to grow in popularity in the UK. Given the nature of the healthcare and education system in the UK and the unique role of continuity of care in UK primary care, this workshop will consider how we can best apply the principles of LICs in the UK primary care context.   

Intended Audience 

This workshop will appeal to novice and experienced educationalists in Primary care in the UK. It will be of particular interest to those involved in curriculum design, development and delivery in undergraduate medical education.