International conference celebrates career of Professor John Hamilton
(21 June 2005)
A conference, which has attracted guest speakers from Nigeria, Canada, Australia and a host of other leading experts in health care, takes place at the University of Durham, Queen’s Campus, Stockton, on 23rd-24th June to celebrate the career of Professor John Hamilton.
Professor Hamilton, who is a medical educator of international renown, has had a long and distinguished career and he is retiring from his post as the University’s Academic Director of the Phase 1 Medicine Programme.
As a measure of the esteem in which he is held by fellow professionals across the world a special two-day conference has been organised at the campus by colleagues on Thursday and Friday 23rd-24th June.
The conference, entitled Medical Education: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally, will focus on aspects of medical learning at home and abroad reflecting a range of experiences spanning Professor Hamilton’s varied career.
The conference opens at 10.00 a.m. with a welcome and address by the Vice Chancellor Sir Kenneth Calman who will look at widening access to medical education from an international perspective.
Conference co-organisers, Dr. Jane Macnaughton, Director of the Centre for Arts and Humanities in Health and Medicine (CAHHM), and Dr. Andrew Russell. Senior lecturer in anthropology, have worked closely with Professor Hamilton since he arrived in 2000 to set up the University’s Medicine Programme in partnership with Newcastle University.
Dr. Macnaughton has developed the personal and professional development strand in the curriculum while Dr. Russell has looked after medicine and community designing Durham’s innovative community placement project for medical students which is unique in the UK.
Other speakers on the first day of the conference will be Professor Roger Strasser of the Northern Ontario Scholl of Medicine who will feature learning medicine in rural communities and Professor David Powis of the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, who will examine widening access by changing criteria for selection.
The Thursday afternoon session will look at community based medical education from an international perspective with contributions from Professor Jill Gordon from the University of Sydney and Professor Eldryd Parry who is currently Director of the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) which supports medical education especially in Africa. Colleagues from the University of Illorin in Nigeria will also contribute.
The Friday morning session will take a critical look at the impact of a new medical school and will be led by Professor Pali Hungin, Dean of Medicine and Chairman of the School for Health at Durham University. There will be a major address by Professor Sir Graeme Catto, President of the General Medical Council and a contribution from Mr Ken Jarrold, Chief Executive of the Durham and Tees Valley Strategic Health Authority.
The conference will conclude with a look at the impact of a new medical programme-realities and visions by Dr. Jane Metcalf, senior lecturer and consultant gastroenterologist at the University Hospital of North Tees.
Professor Hamilton himself will deliver a commentary and round-up to bring the conference to a close.
The Vice-Chancellor of Durham University. Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, said : “Durham has been privileged to have had in John Hamilton one of the leading figures in the world in medical education creating our new medical programme at Queen’s Campus.”
“He has developed an innovative curriculum led by an enthusiastic team and he has established solid links with the local NHS. Medicine and health are now a central part of the educational and research agenda of Durham University and John has been central to that achievement.”
For further information contact :
Dr. Jane Macnaughton, Director of CAHHM, University of Durham, Tel 0191 334 2913
Media enquiries to :
Tom Fennelly, Public Relations Office, University of Durham, Tel 0191 334 6078
Notes for editors
1. Professor Hamilton is Academic Director of Pre-Clinical Curriculum at the University of Durham, Queen's Campus, at Stockton-on-Tees. This is a joint venture with the University of Newcastle. Curriculum initiatives for Stockton respond to the social and health needs of communities in the Teesside region, as representative of those of many disadvantaged communities following loss of major industrial employment.
2. The course involves many members of the Health Service, Primary Care, Social Welfare Services and School Education sector. The study of basic sciences is led by the study of clinical cases. There is a strong priority on professional development, communication skills and ethics, all issues being related to the needs of the community. A programme of widening access to medical education is based on links between current students and schools in disadvantaged areas.
3. Professor Hamilton qualified in the University of London, Middlesex Hospital, in 1960 and later after two years in a mission hospital undertook gastroenterology research in mechanisms of absorption and gut microbiology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School. In 1969 he was appointed to the new Medical School of McMaster University as Head of Gastroenterology and in turn Chairman of the Student Admissions Committee and Curriculum Committee.
4. From 1978 to 1981 he was Professor of Medicine and Chairman of Curriculum Committee for a new medical school at Ilorin, Nigeria. This developed new approaches to medical education in communities, based on students studying health and social issues by living in village communities.
5. After a period in the World Bank as a public health specialist, he was appointed in 1984 as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He completed at the end of 1998.
6. In 17 years in Australia Professor Hamilton was the Foundation Chairman of the Australian Medical Council Accreditation Committee, which introduced accreditation of medical education in Australia in succession to the General Medical Council. He chaired the Commonwealth Rural Undergraduate Steering Committee, developing medical education for and within rural and remote regions, and supporting the education of aboriginal medical students, the majority being educated and trained at Newcastle. He chaired committees relating to the medical workforce, including that investigating the role of women in the workforce and in rural practice.
7. Many of the Medical Schools in Australia have now reformed their curricula and student selection processes following the educational philosophy and experience of Newcastle, New South Wales. He chaired the Quality of Australian Health Care Study, investigating for the Commonwealth Government the incidence causes and preventability of adverse events in clinical care. From this in Australia emerged policy and action on safety in health care.
8. He is a consultant to WHO in Medical Education and has advised numbers of Medical Schools on curriculum development. He chaired the WHO programme for the Control of Diarrhoeal Diseases. A sabbatical in Britain explored the UK health system, new developments in medical education as they relate to community health priorities and approaches to safety and adverse events in clinical care.
9. His wife Alison, is an obstetrician, and sexual health physician, now a physician in palliative care. She taught in the Newcastle curriculum and in Papua New Guinea, in Communication Skills, Obstetrics and Human Sexuality.