Yasmin, a fourth-year MPharm student at the Lincoln School of Pharmacy wrote about her recent mentorship experience below.

As any Lincoln Pharmacy student would agree, the synoptic assessment is an integral part of our learning throughout the MPharm course. This is because it captures the essence of drawing all components of learning together, in order form an overall outline on any given topic. This very much reflects the integrated nature of the course and its aim to develop students into future clinical professionals.

Science Foundation Year students were first introduced to this concept in an interactive workshop session held in the Joseph Banks Laboratories on Thursday 14th March 2019. The session was opened by a brief talk from Dr Paul Grassby, Head of School. He shared anecdotes from his past professional experience within a hospital setting and stressed the importance of viewing a patient holistically, so as to not omit key information which could benefit the patient as a whole.

Students were divided into teams based on their previously allocated drug, and worked together to form a mind-map diagram in the synoptic style, detailing not only one narrow aspect of patient care, but also to link together how medicines work, with the role of the pharmacist and also the patients’ involvement. MPharm students from a variety of years were also on hand to help the groups, based on their past experience in completing synoptic assessments.

As a fourth-year Pharmacy student, I have completed numerous synoptic assessments as part of my studies at Lincoln and have found that I felt well-equipped to provide advice to foundation year colleagues. Not only did I find the mentorship a useful revision exercise, it also demonstrated my learning journey throughout my time on the course; it is now second nature to link all I’ve learnt and also to contextualise and understand the information I am exposed to on a daily basis.

I found it hugely rewarding to see advice given was taken on board by my colleagues and used to shape their understanding of this style of learning. I hope they continue to enjoy and utilise this learning tool, just as I will continue to do so in the remainder of my final year, as well as the commencement of my pre-registration year.

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