Looking back at the 2021 North West

PiPs Summer Showcase

A free open access day for foundation doctors, peer teachers, medical education enthusiasts and curious people

A “great day filled with many fantastic presentations. I learned a lot and will implement many lessons learned to my future teaching.”

A NW PAL lead attending the 2021 showcase


An opportunity for leads to present their teaching projects, or anything related to medical education. 


Space for discussion and to give feedback within a community forum. This helps our attendees to develop their ideas, resources and projects


This year we offered two ancillary workshops “evaluating your teaching” and an abstract writing workshop. We also delivered three “microteach” sessions on the day (see below)

The 2021 showcase


Due to falling close to the end of restrictions, the showcase was held online this year. Hopin was chosen out of all the platforms we have used over the last year as it has stood out in functionality. There were only a few minor technical hitches on the day, but otherwise things ran smoothly. 

The Team

The PiPs team

The 2021 Pips team was composed of foundation doctors; Jess Coulthurst and Bethan Salmon; clinical fellows, Brian Mwangi and Hakim Rezgui, Specialty doctors, Nate Betteridge (anaesthetics ST), Mim Leach (paeds ST) and Umair Gondal (GPST).

The team has grown as we have collected people along their medical education journeys. Our members usually start out as attendees at PiPs events and this is true of all except Nate who joined us as a trainer and Mim who founded the organisation.


Pre-session workshops

We have been building the learning and training opportunities we offer to our community around the showcase year on year. In 2021 we planned three sessions; evaluation planning, abstract writing and feedback. Unfortunately due to ill health we had to cancel the feedback session.  We had a lot of initial interest in these workshops however attendance was low on the actual dates.


“I plan to think more about the aims of teaching sessions I run – and therefore link these to the questions I ask in the evaluation.” – a learner response from the evaluation session


Project presentations

This year we were able to facilitate the sharing of 12 projects from across the NW region, these are detailed further below. Each presenter had 12 minutes in total to present and discuss their project. We had a panel of seniors on hand composed of the PiPs team and the Associate Dean Prof Baker for detailed feedback on presentations and project development.


PiPs “pearls”

This year, at the showcase, we offered three “microteach sessions” which we called our pips pearls.


Hakim introduced Prof Llaurillards “conversational framework” which introduced some basic ideas about types of learning and planning teaching sessions.


Mim talked about “activating questions” and how we can engage our learners in what we want to teach them.


Nate gave an incendiary talk on “death to Powerpoint” or rather death to “bad” powerpoint. Thinking about design tips for presentations.


“Clearly a really encouraging community of people with useful feedback and opportunities to learn from others.”

A NW PAL lead attendee at the 2021 PiPs showcase

2021 Projects


The quality of the presentations this year was really high. We had a bumper crop of surgical projects, a regional level project and a few with potential to be. 

As expected, with the event of the pandemic, quite a few people had started to think about learning and teaching online. This had thrown up some challenges that had been carefully considered. Training on teaching with technology might well be something that PiPs offers as a result of this.

“I really enjoyed it. I found it interesting to hear different peoples projects and ideas which help to set off ideas for myself” – a PAL project presenter

Peer assisted learning Projects presented, 2021

A Journal club

@ Royal Liverpool 

Sarah and Lisa presented their zoom journal club project, ran at Aintree in 2021. This was so successful they plan to embed this into foundation training next year. 

Online ATSP

@ The Countess of Chester

Lambrini told us about the online teaching project being run for medical students at the Countess of Chester on the “Ask to see patient” theme.

Clinical skills

@ Royal Oldham

Sankkita and Eleanor told us how they had developed their teaching skills and confidence delivering their PAL project on clinical skills at ROH.

OSCE prep

@ Bolton

Shahid presented his popular OSCE prep neer-peer project which is running at Bolton and hopes to go on to set up more teaching projects in the future.

A regional access to anaesthesia project


Bethan presented her regional, online teaching programme set up with the support of PiPs in 2020. We are sad to lose her to Oz but sure she will go on to great things.

Gastro PAL


William presented the PAL gastro club running at Aintree. This project was run to support FYs in their understanding of important medical problems during their gastro rotation. William, Joshua and Ashwin plan to run this project again with some key changes next year.

Families and Children

@ Royal Preston

Isla presented her online families and children near-peer teaching for medical students at Preston. She plans on running this project again next year with some thoughtful planning and evaluation.

Trauma teaching

@ Warrington

Joshua presented his highly successful trauma training project and hopes to scale this up to regional level in the future.

Surgical teaching

 online / Countess of chester

Saveria and crew at the countess of Chester developed a brilliant online repository of their teaching resources which was also uploaded to the NHS learning hub.

Surgical skills

@ Blackpool

Thomas told us about his surgical skills training day for foundation doctors at Blackpool. This has already been taken up by the foundation team and he hopes to share it regionally.

Surgical portfolios

@ Manchester

Niall and Farah presented their very well received surgical application and portfolio day. This project has been recognised by RCS Edinburgh and they hope to offer it more widely soon.

Surgical learning online


Jess presented her online training series which aimed to replace much needed surgical exposure for medical students. The teaching was case based and planned to be highly interactive.


Evaluation of the day


 > We gathered some initial reactions from the presenters and attendees,  how they had found the day and what they had identified as learning. 

 > We held a focus group with the team, reflecting on the event and what we had learnt. 

 > Follow up at a later date with attendees will help us understand any impact on their work.


PiPs pearls

These were well received, Hakim had 100% positive feedback on his introduction to the conversational framework – the general response was that it was new to the group and that they would consider it for planning future sessions. Two attendees reflected on past learning in simulation and PBL and how this was supported by theory.

Mim’s session on “activating questions” provoked a lot of thought…

“This session made me think a lot about how I could use questions to engage students and how I should probably use this more as a tool when people are looking distracted etc.” Although more examples were requested and one learner told us that it was too hard to think of a question “on the spot”

Nate’s session on “death to powerpoint” was very well received with everyone planning on implementing changes from this learning in the future. “I really enjoyed this session and feel like it will have a large impact on how i go around designing any future presentations, thank you!”



PiPs team evaluation

This event was the culmination of many online events held throughout the pandemic. Our main focus in this last period, has been on how to facilitate learning online. We all agreed that the gains in this were great, from understanding the online learning experience to exposure to several new tech tools along the way. 

Like the attendees, the PiPs team have acknowledged how much they miss meeting in person. We talked about the loss of the spontaneous meetings at our events, where you might talk to someone you had never met before.  We had tried to simulate this online in the past with little success. At PiPs we ascribe to a social pedagogy, that shared learning is created in a community. An authentic social atmosphere can be truly challenging to create online. 

We have had significant success in bringing training in house, meaning we no longer rely on external trainers. This has reduced many elements of uncertainty in planning our events as well as giving us a lot more freedom in deciding objectives and the overall shape of events.

We say goodbye to several members of the team this year; Bethan and Brian notably. We look forward to a year to take stock of our work and how best to transform PiPs into something that continues to be useful for our foundation doctors.






We gathered data for our evaluation from learners responses to surveys, from a team focus group and observation of the day using Lave and Wegers evaluative framework 



“My wifi was in and out, otherwise Hopin is easy to use”

Technical feedback- a few technical issues, one presenter got locked out of the event in the first half and had to wait til the last session to present. Many of those presenting said they would prefer to meet in person however holding the conference online meant that Lambrini could join us from another Country!



“Inspiring! Friendly! Interesting “pearls”.

Do overs


We had a few comments, gratefully received, as to what we might change. A lot of people were keen to go back to face to face and there were issues with finding the correct information on our site.  Time per presenter was brought up by two attendees who felt more space for discussion would be valuable.

We didn’t have enough submissions to include posters this year but watch this space  [ ]

Some of the “takeaway” learning points


“Recruit different tactics to engage your learners”

“Interactive sessions are generally better than lecture based sessions, questions can be used as a tool to engage learners and powerpoints need to be thought about with care to ensure there isn’t information overload.”

“Planning is key. Powerpoint needs to be minimalist in content, use it as an adjunct”


“For me the conversational framework was really good, thinking about different styles was great”


The North West summer showcase is proudly sponsored by your deanery,

Health Education England


Empowered by the summer showcase experience, I went on to design and implement a peer teaching project alongside a colleague who also attended the conference – something I didn’t have the confidence to do before.


Clinical fellow and PiPs lead

Throughout the showcase I made notes of details from the teaching programmes being presented, which I thought were unique and quite effective…After attending, I reached out to a few of my peers and proposed we work together to create a teaching programme for final year medical students. 


Clinical fellow, North West, now PiPs lead

“(The showcase) exceeded expectations- I was dreading sitting at a computer all day but was broken up into short chunks really well and team kept enthusiasm up so was actually enjoyable”

Response from a presenter at the 2020 virtual showcase



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