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Patient Group Pairing

Applications are now open for the 2021 Patient Group Pairing Scheme!

What is The Patient Group Pairing Scheme?

The Student Voice Prize Patient Group Pairing Scheme gives medical students, nurses and biological sciences undergraduate and masters students the chance to be paired with a rare disease patient group to learn first-hand about their condition and patient experience.

The scheme benefits patient groups because it allows groups to share their story and experiences with a doctor, nurse or scientist of tomorrow who may never have considered working with rare disease before.

The scheme benefits students because it introduces them to rare disease early on in their career and helps them to understand the patient experience. They will learn a first-hand account of what it’s like to live with a rare disease in the hopes that they walk away with a new perspective on rare disease care, policy, research and treatment.

Deadline: If you are submitting a form on behalf of a patient group the deadline is the 6th October 2021. If you are submitting a form as a student, applications will be open from the 6th October to the 10th November 2021. 

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the Patient Group Pairing Scheme, either as a patient group representative or as a student, please email: [email protected]

Please note: It is important that both patient group representatives and students read and understand the Terms of Reference document below before applying to take part in the pairing process. The Student Voice Prize team cannot guarantee that a pairing will be possible if you apply. The team takes no responsibility for the quality of the student’s writing or the ideas or opinions they express in their essay.

What is Expected of Patient Groups?

Participating patient groups will be expected to:

  • Share basic information with Findacure for us to hold in a database to allow us to match students with groups.
  • Allow Findacure to share a contact email address with any matched students.
  • Arrange to spend a time of up to one hour in phone or video call conversation with their paired student before 10th November 2021.
  • Share information with the student about their rare condition and their experience as a patient.
  • Endeavour to answer the student’s questions where possible.
  • NOT seek medical advice from the student.
  • Respect the students other time commitments when arranging calls.
  • Ensure that only ONE patient representative from the organisation applies to take part in the pairing scheme on behalf of the organisation.
  • NOT write the essay for the student, review or read it prior to submission.

Ready to help inspire the minds of tomorrow?

Fill out the Patient Group Pairing Form below for your chance to be paired with a student for 2021!

Deadline: If you are submitting a form on behalf of a patient group the deadline is the 6th October 2021. 

What is Expected of Students?

Students who would like to be paired with a rare disease patient group will be expected to:

  • Prepare a series of questions prior to your interview with your paired patient group.
  • Arrange a time for the interview with the patient group in advance.
  • Respect the views and experiences of the patient representatives.
  • Agree to share an essay that features the disease of your paired patient organisation with that organisation after the competition winners are announced.
  •  Maintain confidentiality and not disclose any details that haven’t been agreed in advance with the person you are interviewing.
  • Remove any identifiable details about the person you interview – bearing in mind that in such small patient populations it can be easy to identify people with very little information.

Deadline: If you are submitting a form as a student, applications will be open from the 6th October to the 10th November 2021

Can Partnering with a Patient Group Help My Essay?

Meet Maisha Umama

Maisha entered The Student Voice Prize 2018 competition and was paired with Fibrous Dysplasia Support Society under the Patient Group Pairing Scheme. Maisha was one of the 2018 Runner-Ups with her essay entitled Four things I learned from an individual with fibrous dysplasia.

Here is an excerpt from her essay!

“…rare diseases collectively affect 1 in 17 people meaning that as future clinicians we need to consider how we can provide high quality care to patients with diseases that may be unfamiliar to us. Fibrous dysplasia (FD) is one of those conditions. With an estimated prevalence of 1 in 15000-30000 individuals , it is unsurprising that I had never come across it. Even after researching it I don’t believe I understood how debilitating it can be until I talked to H, an individual with FD, about her experience. It was saddening to hear how FD has severely disrupted her life and disheartening (or at times shocking) to hear about her experiences with healthcare. The chances of me or anyone else coming across a patient with FD may be low but there are many lessons in H’s story that, although seemingly obvious, are important for all good clinicians to remember.”

Check out the patient groups and organisations we paired with students for The 2020 Student Voice Prize!

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