The School of Medicine recently hosted the 2017 Ronald Harden Lecture, which saw Director of the GMC’s Education and Standards directorate, Dr Colin Melville, discuss how changes in medicine will affect the ways in which we educate future doctors in his lecture, entitled “Tomorrow’s Doctors: Their Future — Our Choice”.
Dr Melville, who joined the GMC’s Senior Management team in 2017 from his role as Head of Lancaster Medical School, spoke on the future of medical education and how changes in demographics, advances in technology and treatments, and the working lives of doctors today will all have an impact on how medicine is perceived and taught in the future.
Dr Melville also reinforced the view that medical professionals should focus their practice on patients’ needs rather than diseases, and we should value doctors’ communication skills and their approach to patients just as much as, if not more than, academic achievements.
He also paid tribute to the lecture’s namesake, who he said had imparted a vast amount of knowledge on the wider medical community, stating directly to Professor Harden “it is stunning what you have achieved in your career”.
Professor Harden has strong links with the University of Dundee, having founded the Centre for Medical Education (CME) in 1972, which continues to run courses focused on educating the medical educators of tomorrow, initiating the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) (for which Dundee is well renowned), and introducing the spiral curriculum within the School of Medicine. Professor Mairi Scott, Director of the Centre for Medical Education said, “We are enormously privileged to continue to have very strong links with our founder Professor Harden. Many of our current students are very familiar with his inspirational work, both now and in the past, and the Ronald Harden Lecture is an important part of that continuing relationship and Ronald’s enduring legacy with the School of Medicine.”
The lecture was neatly concluded with a quote from Professor Harden: “The segregation of undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education into three silos will disappear with a seamless continuum of education in place”, highlighting the need for continuous professional development throughout the careers of medical professionals.