Author: cdharris

School of Medicine Awards for NHS Teachers 2014

School of Medicine Awards 25.11.2014 070The School of Medicine Awards for NHS Teachers evening took place on Tuesday 25 November.  The annual ceremony recognises the enormous contribution of NHS staff to the education of undergraduates and postgraduates in the Faculty of Medicine.  Fifteen members of staff received awards, which were presented by Professor Dermot Kelleher, Vice President (Health) and Dean of the Faculty Medicine.  Many of the students who nominated the winners attended to describe their teachers’ impact on their education at Imperial.  The ICSM Students’ Union Light Opera Society also performed for guests.

School of Medicine Awards 25.11.2014 004This year, two new awards were created: the Supporting the Student Experience award (for NHS staff in non-teaching roles), which was presented to Darren Pirson, Medical Education Manager at Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust.  The Distinguished Teacher award, only open to previous teaching award winners, was introduced to recognise a sustained, outstanding contribution to education.  The inaugural Award was given to Dr Naila Kamal of London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.  Dr Kamal gave a presentation on her experiences of teaching our students.

Closing the event, Professor Jenny Higham, Vice Dean (Education and Institutional Affairs) congratulated all the award winners, describing them as an inspiration to the next generation of doctors.

A full list of award winners can be found at:

Chris Harris
Quality and Educational Development Manager
Imperial College School of Medicine

Faculty Teaching Forum: resilience with compassion

The 2014 Faculty Teaching Forum took place at the Charing Cross campus on Thursday 27 November, with the theme of Resilience with Compassion.  The aim of the Forum is to bring together the wide community of teachers from across the Faculty and partner NHS providers for an afternoon focused on undergraduate medical education.  The plenary lecture was given by Dr Tom Evens, a former Imperial student, who shared his insights of resilience and compassion from his experiences both as an Olympic rowing coach and Air Ambulance Doctor.  The afternoon also comprised of an expert panel debate, a series of workshops and a number of short update presentations from staff in the Faculty.

One of the organisers for the Forum, Dr Jo Harris, Director of Curriculum and Assessment in the School of Medicine and Deputy Director of Primary Care Education, thanked all those who had attended and contributed to the event and highlighted the important opportunity to network, share ideas and reflect on practice.

Chris Harris
Quality and Educational Development Manager
Imperial College School of Medicine

Educational leadership appointments

I am delighted to announce the following appointments to two educational leadership roles in the School of Medicine:

Professor Margaret Callan has been appointed as Course Leader (Rheumatology) for Year 5 of the Undergraduate Medicine programme, following the departure of Dr Sonya Abraham.  Professor Callan is Deputy Head of Year 5, Course Leader for Immunology in the Year 5 Pathology Theme and a Consultant Rheumatologist at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Dr Elizabeth Muir has accepted an appointment to lead a programme of work supporting the School’s ‘Year of Feedback’.  The purpose of this project is to identify and deliver improvements to the feedback provided to our students throughout the undergraduate Medicine programmes.  Dr Muir is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of Primary Care and Public Health and a General Practitioner.  She is also Theme Leader for Foundations of Clinical Practice and co-leads the Problem Based Learning teaching.

I hope you will join me in congratulating them on their new appointments.

Chris Harris
Quality and Educational Development Manager
Imperial College School of Medicine

WHOCC members participated in a leadership and health management training in Nairobi

On the 13th of September, members of the WHO Collaborating Centre left to Nairobi, Kenya to conduct a one-week course on Leadership and Health Management. The training, held in partnership with UNICEF Somalia Country Office, targeted high-level health officials of the Somali Ministry of Health, as well as WHO and UNICEF country officials.

The WHOCC leadership training aims to provide current national, regional and local leaders and decision makers the necessary management and leadership skills to cope with every day as well as crisis situations. By becoming better leaders, health officials will be able to contribute to the improvement of the Somali health system and to provide more effective services to the population.

Throughout the course and by means of very hands-on exercises, participants developed leadership skills such as delegation, team work, or evidence-based decision making. Each day was dedicated to a specific area of health management: from leadership skills to quality of care, management in health, policy and strategy, and governance. After receiving their certificates, participants returned to Somalia, with the skills and tools to inspire and influence those around them.


IUA Award from the XXVI World Congress in Sydney

The Josef Pflug Vascular Laboratory of Imperial College has recently won the prize for the best oral presentation at the XXVI World Congress of the International Union of Angiology 10th – 14th August 2014 in Sydney, Australia with entry number #820. The certificate was given to Mr Christopher Lattimer MBBS, FRCS, MS, PhD from Professor John Fletcher, Chairman of congress and President elect of the IUA, on behalf of the team and collaborators.

The award was for recognising that D-dimer levels taken from the leg in patients with chronic venous insufficiency were increased in comparison to their arm blood samples. The research arose from the hypothesis that local blood samples would be a better reflexion of local pathology than a systemic sample from the arm which has been altered through several organs and capillary beds. This led to the development of the ankle cubital D-dimer ratio (ACDR) which may be a more specific test at detecting pro-thrombotic states in the leg, like venous disease or a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The advantage of the ACDR over a single arm sample is that it is not dependent on the age of the patient and it is unrelated to the type of measuring assay. Future studies are underway to determine whether this test may improve the specificity of D-dimer as a screening test in the detection of DVT.

The prize was awarded to our team which includes our overseas collaborators, Professor Jawed Fareed, Professor Debra Hoppensteadt and Daneyal Syed from the Department of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Loyola University, Chicago, USA. The rest of our team from the Josef Pflug vascular laboratory ( at Ealing hospital and Imperial College includes Dr Evi Kalodiki, Senior Research Fellow, and the head of our Department, Mr George Geroulakos.

Excellent improvement in student satisfaction rates at the School of Medicine

The School of Medicine has seen an excellent improvement in the 2014 National Student Survey result, with overall satisfaction increasing 7% to 90% – putting it 4% above the sector average.

Martin Lupton, Head of the Undergraduate School of Medicine, puts the improvements down to greater emphasis within the school on listening to students’ feedback:

“We’ve spent a lot of time actively listening to our students and it’s clearly had an impact. We have strong staff-student liaison groups, town hall meetings with our students and I have a lunch each week with a group of 12 -14 students randomly chosen from across the school.  These help us identify exactly where there are issues and how we can best address them. It was this kind of feedback that led us to revamp our tutoring system, bringing in a smaller number of well-trained tutors with allocated time to undertake the role.”

Susan English, Director of Education Management, also highlighted the strong sense of community within the medical school as a contributing factor to the positive environment:

“Led by Jenny Higham, Vice-Dean (Education and Institutional Affairs), there’s been a push to raise the profile of the School and develop a stronger identity which I think has helped increase the feeling of community for our staff and students. When you have over 2,000 students operating over four teaching sites, 30 hospital sites and dozens of general practices it can be a challenge to instil a sense of belonging.  We have also increased the emphasis on celebrating students’ progression through their studies.  For example, we have a welcome dinner with all first year students and staff and a ‘white coat’ ceremony, when they commence their Year 3 clinical attachments so that staff and students come together to celebrate this milestone.”

This year’s results for medicine have seen improvements across all of the surveyed areas. As well as overall satisfaction increasing, improvements in Academic Support of 13% and Organisation and Management of 15% were the highest by any department College-wide.

Chris Harris, Quality and Educational Development Manager added:

“It’s important to stress though that we’re not complacent. We’re over the moon with this year’s results but there is lots more still be done. We’ve made a commitment to continue listening to our students and working with them to improve their experience and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Chris Harris
Quality and Educational Development Manager
Faculty of Medicine

A new five-year graduate medicine programme from 2015-16

After much consideration and discussion, the School of Medicine has taken the decision that it will no longer offer a four-year graduate entry programme with effect from 2015-16.

The new five-year programme

Graduate students will instead be able to apply for a more tailored, five-year programme with exemption from the BSc honours year.

This decision was taken in the light of the 2012 Graduate Entry review, student feedback about the intensity of the programme and the lack of opportunities to pursue research and scholarship, and the potential of full registration with the GMC being conferred on graduation, which would mean a four-year programme does not meet the requisite training hours to meet current EU requirements.

More information about this new programme will be provided in due course.

Chris Harris
Quality and Educational Development Manager
Faculty Education Office (Medicine)