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24 May 2010
One of the UK’s leading figures in medical education has been appointed to ensure Cardiff medical students get the education and skills they need to become doctors fit for the 21st century.
Professor John Bligh becomes the School of Medicine’s first-ever Dean of Medical Education responsible for the University’s undergraduate medical curriculum.
As well as leading a key review and a modernisation of the medical undergraduate curriculum, the Director will help maintain Cardiff on the national and international map as a centre for medical education excellence.
Professor Bligh said: "The School of Medicine has a long and proud reputation for pursuing the highest standards of education and training and for producing the next generation of Welsh and UK doctors.
"However, the needs of modern medicine and a 21st century NHS mean that the way the next generation of doctors are educated needs to constantly change.
"As the University’s Director of Medical Education it will be my job to ensure that the skills and training our students get from the School fit the needs of their careers in medicine."
Key to the new appointment will be the development of an integrated educational and training programme spanning all of the five undergraduate years. The new programme will also be developed in collaboration with the Wales Postgraduate Deanery and NHS Wales.
Professor Bligh added: "Not only is it important that we give doctors the skills they need but we have a responsibility to ensure that once our students have completed their medical education, we help support the seamless transition to a career in medicine.
"Recent experience has shown that Wales continues to experience difficulties in filling some specialities but by working jointly with the Postgraduate Deanery and NHS Wales we can hopefully help address vacancies in some of the key areas where there are gaps."
A former North Wales GP, Professor Bligh is one of the UK’s leading figures in medical education and training.
He led an expert Advisory Panel on assessment and selection for the Tooke Inquiry into Modern Medical Careers (MMC) and represented medical education research on the 2008 HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise. He was also Editor in Chief of Medical Education between 1997 and 2005.
From 1990 to 1995 he was International Fellow for Saudi Arabia for the Royal College of General Practitioners, helping to establish a postgraduate training programme for the Ministry of Health within the Kingdom.
He became Senior Lecturer in Medical Education and Director of the University Medical Education Unit at the University of Liverpool in 1993, during which time he was a member of the foundation staff at the International Medical College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 1995 he was appointed Professor of Primary Care Education at the University of Liverpool, and subsequently Professor of Medical Education.
He was head of the Department of Health Care Education from 1995 to 2001 when he joined the foundation staff of Peninsula Medical School as Associate Dean (Education).
Professor Bligh joins the University from Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry where he was Professor of Clinical Education, Vice Dean, and Director of the Institute of Clinical Education.
He is the current President of the Academy of Medical Educators.
Professor Paul Morgan, Dean of Medicine, School of Medicine said: "We are delighted to welcome Professor Bligh to this key strategic appointment for Cardiff University’s School of Medicine.
"Ensuring we have one of the UK’s leading figures in medical education is an illustration of our commitment to give our students the skills they need for a demanding career in medicine.
"I look forward to working alongside Professor Bligh to ensure we have a medical curriculum that meets the demands of the 21st century."
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