Culture change bears fruit

March 12, 2009

The isolated quotes in your feature "No apples for teachers" (19 February) are misleading. My position as an educator at the University of Manchester needs clarification and, more importantly, I made some factually inaccurate statements that must be corrected.

Manchester has made a large culture shift in developing equity between teaching and research. The committee appointed by the dean to review our curriculum is not, as I stated, "totally unconnected with medical education" but reflects this new reality by enabling staff with roles in education to work with researchers to ensure a balanced strategic outcome. We work together. My regrettable use of "they" not "we" in my quoted statements suggests educators are detached from the university. This is definitely not the case.

As educators, we must endeavour to overcome the frustrations highlighted in your article and move forward. The creation of the UK Academy of Medical Educators acknowledges the need to support career structure. Manchester is focusing on mentoring and widening access to training in leadership to support personal development. I believe the approach we are taking is at the forefront of this important culture change.

Val Wass, Professor of community-based medical education, University of Manchester.

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