Improving Diversity in Clinical Skills Education

Diversity is hugely significant at the University of St Andrews, given that the University hosts students from over 130 different countries. Racial and cultural diversity is evident within the University and more specifically, within the School of Medicine. The School endeavours for this diversity to be reflected in teaching practice. 

Limbs and Things are a UK-based business, which provides clinical-skills models for students of clinical education across the globe, including medical students at St Andrew’s. With a vision of delivering state of the art learning tools, these models provide means for students to practice medical procedures and are repeatable, anatomically accurate and cost-effective training solutions. Up until recently, these models were uniform and did not reflect racial diversity.  

Seeing an opportunity to improve equality and diversity in teaching, the Clinical Skills team at the University of St Andrews, along with input from students, recognised the need to have a more diverse range of models available. The team approached Limbs and Things with the idea of offering models of different types and varying skin tones. Limbs and Things, excited by this opportunity, recently began to produce darker-skinned models. The School of Medicine secured a number of new models in four different types since June 2020, which will be used by their students in clinical training. The School’s Manager, Clive Masson, says that he is delighted with this development, stating that clinical models should reflect the racial diversity that is not only evident within the School of Medicine, but across the NHS and throughout Scotland.