Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu

Cymraeg

New Dean to lead Cardiff medical education

21 May 2010

Medical education has to adapt and change to ensure the doctors of the future get the skills and experience they need for a modern 21st century health service, according to Cardiff University’s newly appointed Dean of Medical Education.

Professor John Bligh, a leading UK figure in the development and design of medical education programmes, has been appointed Cardiff University’s first-ever full-time Dean responsible for the School of Medicine’s undergraduate medical education programme.

The key appointment will see the Dean undertake a major review of medical education to ensure the University’s medical curriculum meets the needs of a 21st century NHS and helps maintain Cardiff’s position as Wales’ and one of the UK’s leading centres of medical education excellence.

Professor Bligh said: "Cardiff’s School of Medicine has a long and proud reputation for pursuing the highest standards of medical education and for producing doctors with the skills needed for a demanding career in the NHS.

"However, the changing needs of modern medicine and a 21st century NHS means that the way we educate the next generation of doctors has to constantly change and adapt to keep pace – which is why I am delighted to have been appointed Dean with the chance to lead a review and modernisation programme.

"Ensuring we have a medical curriculum at Cardiff that meets the needs of a modern health service will ensure our students remain of the highest quality and, as a School of Medicine, we remain nationally and internationally competitive."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 for medical students will emphasise the research strengths of the university as well as using contemporary science and exciting new approaches to teaching clinical skills. Most undergraduate teaching in medicine takes place within the NHS and the university relies on clinicians and other health care workers for its teaching often in a multidisciplinary setting. Patient safety will be a major focus of the programme as well as a thorough grounding in the health care needs of Wales and the wider UK.

The new programme will be developed in collaboration with the Wales Postgraduate Deanery and NHS Wales to ensure that the future needs of the health service are met.

As well as leading the development of the University’s medical undergraduate curriculum the new Dean will help create a learning landscape for medical undergraduates and create new opportunities for innovation, clinical experience and formal learning in all parts of Wales.

It’s expected a new medical curriculum for Cardiff Medical School will be in place by 2013.

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 their seamless transition to a career in medicine.

"Recent experience has shown that Wales continues to experience difficulties in filling some specialities. Working jointly with the Postgraduate Deanery and NHS Wales we can hopefully help address some of these vacancies with the necessary skills and knowledge."

A former GP, Professor Bligh 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. He is the current President of the Academy of Medical Educators.

Professor Bligh joins Cardiff 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.

As well as an interest in medical education, Professor Bligh also has a background in general practice and training GPs. After house jobs in Neurosurgery at Manchester Royal Infirmary and General Medicine in North Wales his main clinical background is in general practice where he was involved in postgraduate teaching successively as a GP trainer, course organiser, and then associate adviser for quality to Mersey Region.

During his time in general practice he was a clinical assistant in alcohol and drug dependence at the Mersey Regional Drug and Alcohol Centre, and in ophthalmology at Chester Royal Infirmary. In 1991 he was appointed Regional Medical Adviser to join a team establishing the National Medical Adviser's Support Centre for the Department of Health.

Professor Paul Morgan, Cardiff University’s Dean 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."

-Ends-

1. Professor John Bligh

Professor John Bligh is the former Professor of Clinical Education, Vice Dean, and Director of the Institute of Clinical Education at Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. He is the President of the Academy of Medical Educators.

In 2007 he led the 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, and was Editor in Chief of Medical Education between 1997 and 2005. He was also the founding Editor in Chief of The Clinical Teacher.

During his early career, John Bligh worked in house jobs in Neurosurgery at Manchester and in General Medicine in North Wales.

However, his main clinical background is in general practice where he was involved in postgraduate teaching as a GP trainer, course organiser, and then associate adviser for quality to Mersey Region. He became a member of the foundation management team at Peninsula Medical School in 2001.

From 1990 to 1995 he was International Fellow for Saudi Arabia for the Royal College of General Practitioners. He became Senior Lecturer in Medical Education and Director of the University Medical Education Unit at the University of Liverpool in 1993. In 1995 he was appointed Professor of Primary Care Education and subsequently Professor of Medical Education.

He was head of the Department of Health Care Education from 1995 to 2001.

John's main professional interest is in designing medical education programmes to meet the needs of modern health care delivery. He has published extensively and is co-author, with Noel Boaden, of a book 'Community Based Medical Education: towards a shared agenda for learning' published in 1999.

2. School of Medicine

Cardiff University’s School of Medicine is a significant contributor to healthcare in Wales, a major provider of professional staff for the National Health Service and an international centre of excellence for research, delivering substantial health benefits locally and internationally. The school’s 800 staff include 500 research and academic staff who teach more than 2,000 students, including 1,110 postgraduate students.

The School is based at the Heath Park Campus, a site it shares with the University Hospital of Wales, the third largest university hospital in the UK. The School has an all-Wales role, contributing greatly to promoting, enhancing and protecting the nation’s health.

A key partner in this role is the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales, with which the School is linked at all levels. This mutual dependency is illustrated by the teaching of medical undergraduates in more than 150 hospitals located in all of Wales’ health authorities. The medical curriculum followed at the School enables students to acquire and apply knowledge, skills, judgement and attitudes appropriate to delivering a high standard of professional care. Around 300 new doctors currently graduate from the School every year and the Welsh Assembly Government has invested substantially in new teaching facilities to increase this number further

3. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

4. Further information or to arrange a media interview with Professor Bligh please contact:

Stephen Rouse

Public Relations

Cardiff University

Tel: 029 20 874731

E-mail: RouseS@cardiff.ac.uk