Five medical students from the University of Bristol undertook a one month placement at Penny Brohn UK to learn more about how integrative approaches like our Bristol Whole Life Approach can help people with cancer, and other long term conditions live as well as possible for as long as possible.
The third/fourth year medical students had a packed programme meeting clients and observing the people who work here in order to gain a deeper understanding of Integrative Approaches to illness, health and wellbeing which they can apply in their future careers.
The four week programme saw them learn about all aspects of the Bristol Whole Life Approach. The students have had the opportunity to learn more about lifestyle medicine (nutrition, physical activity and stress management) and complementary therapies from our doctors and therapists, discovering how these can work alongside standard medical treatments to improve outcomes and people’s experiences of receiving and living with a diagnosis such as cancer. They also experienced our approach first hand by taking part in group sessions and speaking with clients about the effects that more person-centred approaches can have on health and wellbeing.
At Penny Brohn we recognise the importance of food in health and wellbeing and have developed our own healthy eating guidelinesto help people dealing with the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual impact of cancer.
This passion for food is shared by Rupy Aujla, from the Doctors Kitchen. Rupy created the UK’s first ‘Culinary Medicine’ course with the Royal College of General Practitioners which aims to teach doctors and health professionals the foundations of nutrition and … how to cook! In 2018 Rupy ran the course for a group of Bristol medical students and they and our group of Penny Brohn UK medical students ran a “master chef” type cookathon which saw four teams of students designing and presenting a salad dish to clients and staff at Penny Brohn UK. The dishes were then judged by Rupy and our nutritional therapist, Victoria on a number of elements such as colour, attractiveness, taste and nutritional value. Clients were surprised and delighted that doctors of the future were taking an interest in food and health, and were learning more about how to help people use lifestyle to improve resilience and wellbeing.