Intended for healthcare professionals


Leadership in medical education

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 12 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2351
  1. John Bligh, dean of medical education1,
  2. Julie Brice, academic support manager2
  1. 1Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff CF14 4XN
  2. 2Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Plymouth Campus, Plymouth PL4 8AA
  1. julie.browne{at}

    A professional framework is needed to support teaching as a discipline

    Teaching is a central function of clinical practice. All doctors teach, and good teachers directly improve patient care.1 Like other areas of medical practice it takes training, experience, and support to become a good clinical teacher. But despite this, many teachers feel their work is unrecognised or undervalued, and if teaching is not realistically represented in a job plan this can be demoralising. Part of the problem is the complex teaching environment, with many clinicians in primary care and secondary care involved with teaching undergraduates, postgraduates, and colleagues from other professions in a variety of settings. Developing a career in medical education is difficult in a health service where the demands of service delivery put pressure on postgraduate training and continuing professional development for both students and teachers. It is equally difficult in medical schools, whose educational mission is often threatened by the competing demands of research.

    Some people argue that such structural problems require a structural approach.2 To foster and develop the leaders of the future, we need a clear professional framework that supports medical education careers. For medical …

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