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Our Current Medical Education Fellows

Click the links below to see further information on on our lead fellows, current pre and post CCT fellows, our associate dean and our former fellows:


Lead Medical Education Fellows

Lead MEF - Mr Mark Szymankiewicz

Mark Szymankiewicz is a General Surgical Registrar. He is also a flexible trainee, spending his time outside medicine in competitive target rifle shooting to an international level. His educational activities within region, include being part of the MEF conference planning committee  since 2009. He sits on the Deanery Quality Assurance Steering Group, and was part of the 2010 QA awards panel. He is an Examiner for Southampton University Medical School BM Finals & Intermediate OSCE s. He has been a member of the Tomorrow's Teachers Faculty since 2008. He teaches on the MRCS revision course and is active in local hospital and regional teaching activities. He is also currently involved with the Royal College of Surgeons eSurgery Project as a member of the Trainee Advisory Group and has authored two eLearning sessions.


Deputy Lead MEF - Dr Sophie Price

Dr. Sophie Price is a registrar in Palliative Medicine and having always had a special interest in education, was delighted to be appointed a MEF in June 2013. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Medical Education at the University of Dundee, studying education for junior doctors in palliative care as the topic of her dissertation. She is primarily involved in undergraduate education with students at the University of Southampton. She teaches on the Medicine in Practice course for 1st years and have more recently been involved with the Palliative Care training for 2nd, 3rd and 5th year students. She also has a developing interest in postgraduate education. She is the co-ordinator for the regional Palliative Medicine Registrar training days and a member of the Tomorrow's Teachers faculty.


Current Medical Education Fellows


Miss Nikki Kelsall

Miss Nikki Kelsall was appointed as an MEF in 2009, and recently stepped down from the position as lead, which she held for four years. She is part way through a Masters in Medical Education at Winchester University and worked closely with the deanery developing the trainee Extranet sites. She is a final year Trauma & Orthopaedic SpR and has been instrumental in the development of a junior doctor teaching programme in Trauma & Orthopaedics, both at Southampton General Hospital and Poole Hospital (which she hopes have continued after she progressed on in her rotation). She has taught the FY 1s in Dorchester, lecture year 1 medical students and facilitate year 3 medical students. In her role as Lead MEF  she chairs the planning committee for the yearly conference which continues to go from strength to strength each year. She also organises the MEF development programme and perform the MEF appraisals with Dr Rosie Lusznat. She is currently developing a 3 day FRCS ( Tr&Orth ) clinical skills exam preparation course. She teaches on the Wessex MRCS revision and basic science courses, am a member of the Tomorrow's Teachers faculty and have recently been asked to join the ATLS faculty.


Dr Angela Birnie

Dr. Angela Birnie is a final year urology trainee, a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority and is due to complete a Masters Degree in Medical Education at Warwick University in 2014.  She understands that excellence in clinical practice is underpinned by excellence in education and learning.  During her training she has authored surgical eLearning modules for Brighton Medical School, been appointed as an anatomy demonstrated for pre-clinical students at Oxford Medical School and was a surgical tutor to the clinical students at Oxford Medical School.  She designed and organised interdisciplinary small group teaching events for surgical nurses and in recognition of this she was awarded a fully funded bursary to the Oxford Colloquium on Medical Education in 2013.

Since 2013 she has been the urology trainee representative on the intercollegiate Urology Examination Board. She has attended standard setting meetings relating to the Urology FRCS examination and attends bi-annual board meetings (during which matters arising from past and future examination sittings are considered).  She is researching trainer perspectives of simulation training for her Masters dissertation. This topic is prescient given that simulation now comprises a mandatory component of the ISCP curriculum in urology and she is keep to help the adoption of this training method in practice.


Dr Victoria Doyle

Before Dr Victoria Doyle became a doctor she was a professional ballet dancer and taught dance in France, Italy and the UK .  Throughout her time at medical school she was involved in various medical education projects including the pilot project for the BM4 course. She has been a Histopathology trainee since August 2010 and MEF since November 2011. She am involved in various medical education projects, including regular medical student tutorials, exam marking and as a mentor. Her current project is the organisation of an educational resource for histopathology trainees.


Dr Claire Joannides

Dr Claire Joannides is a ST6 registrar in Anaesthesia and passionate about teaching and training.  She has recently been appointed as a MEF and is delighted to be a part of that unique team.  Her two main interests within medical education are; the role of social media as an educational forum, and the use of simulation training.  She has recently designed and setup a simulation course in one Trust and is involved in facilitating in a number of other simulation courses throughout the region. She teaches on ATLS and is a member of faculty for two popular Final FRCA Revision courses (Leicester and Southampton).  She annually attends the Royal College of Anaesthetist’s Sixth Form Open Day, which provides students with a realistic insight into a career in medicine and Basic Life Support skills.  Since 2011, she has been Trainee Council Member for the Society of Educators in Anaesthesia. The society’s role is to provide support and guidance to the “shop floor” anaesthetist to ensure education, CPD and training remains top priority, despite deanery and national changes, and when time and financial constraints are ever present. She is delighted to have been given this opportunity. She looks forward to liaising with other like-minded individuals, share ideas and experiences and develop her skills as a medical educator, as well as ensuring the continuous provision of great learning opportunities for others.


Miss Kat Pearson

Miss Kat Pearson is a new MEF this year, and has been warmly welcomed into the team. Her main project at the moment, is working to set up Simulation training for F1 s in acute ward based scenarios. She has designed and set up a course in one trust and is looking to expand this across the deanery. Her other interests include undergraduate teaching and assessment. She is also excited to be involved with the Wessex Medical Education Conference this year. The MEF role gives her the support and advice to develop her role as a medical educator right across the deanery and further.


Dr Ashley Towers

Dr Ashley Towers works as a paediatric registrar and is a new MEF appointed in January 2014, having been involved in various educational initiatives since moving to Wessex in 2010. She has been a member of the Tomorrow’s Teachers faculty since 2011 and has been co-director of the courses since September 2013. She is a One Minute Wonder enthusiast and has been developing and introducing OMW boards in paediatric departments around the region since 2011.  She also designed and is currently establishing a part-task practical skills simulation programme for paediatric ST1 -3s in Queen Alexandra Hospital, focussing on 3 core neonatal skills; intubation, umbilical line insertion and long line insertion.


Mr Sam Yasen

Mr Sam Yasen is an orthopaedic registrar on the Wessex rotation. He has always had an enthusiasm for teaching, and has been heavily involved with it since undergraduate level. He set up a student-led cadaveric anatomy course at Guys hospital as well as running numerous clinical skills teaching events through his role as vice-president of the surgical society. He has continued this interest into his postgraduate training, holding various roles. This year he has created a new rolling orthopaedic teaching programme for the FY 1 doctors at Southampton General which he oversees. He is involved in teaching 4th year medical students, and anatomy at MRCS level. He is also undertaking a diploma in teaching and hope to become part of the Tomorrow's Teachers faculty. He hopes through his role as a MEF  he can de-mystify orthopaedics through well-structured teaching programmes aimed at junior doctors, as this is a subject that is often poorly taught at undergraduate level. He also hopes to champion a move back to a love of anatomy teaching and learning by maximising the use of the cadaveric lab at Southampton General for all surgical trainees.


Dr Christine Fox

Dr Christine Fox is a StR in Rheumatology within the Wessex deanery, and was included within the MEF programme in April 2014. She has always had a passion and interest in Medical Education, and enjoy teaching Medical students on a regular teaching programme. She has previously been involved in Mentorship for Birmingham University Undergraduates, and has set up post-graduate 'mock' exams in New Zealand where she worked for 18 months. She has been organising the post-graduate teaching programme for the department, and has plans to help set up an Ultrasound teaching programme for Rheumatology trainees. She is looking to start a Post-graduate certificate in Medical Education at Bristol University, as well as getting involved in other Educational activities supported by the MEF programme.


Dr Thomas Brown
Dr Adam Cox
Dr Ben Sieniewicz
Dr Helen Wilson
Dr Clarissa Chase
Dr Freddie Speyer
Dr Liz Tate


Post Certificate of Completion of Training Medical Education Fellow

Dr Will Backen

Dr Will Backen is a registrar in Geriatric Medicine and was appointed as a MEF in 2010. He has interests in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. He has tutored both the 3rd year and 4th year students from the University of Southampton and has now progressed to working with the Foundation doctors in Portsmouth. Within his specialty he has just completed re-structuring the programme of training days for Geriatric trainees in Wessex. He is also involved in organising this year’s Wessex Medical Education conference for trainees. He has just completed my first year of a Masters in Medical Education at the University of Winchester. Dr Backen says as a MEF,  he has benefited from help and advice from like-minded colleagues both inside and outside the Deanery, and the role continues to help him develop as a medical educator.


Dr Emma Nash

Dr Emma Nash is a GP partner in Portchester and a clinical supervisor for out of hours training. She's been involved in education right from the beginning of her career, facilitating and developing areas of the GP VTS in Warwickshire. She worked as a Clinical Education Fellow at the University of Warwick Medical School and completed her first educational qualification at that time. She is now undertaking the preliminary stages of the Masters programme. In addition to her clinical work, she is also on the editorial board for the RCGP Journal ' InnovAiT ', and is embarking on a project to look at how Health Education Wessex can harness social media to promote educational opportunities and development.


Dr Larissa Ryan

Dr Larissa Ryan is a registrar ( ST 5) in Old Age Psychiatry, and a fairly recent migrant from Oxford Deanery. She has a longstanding interest in education and has been involved in various undergraduate and postgraduate projects during her training. While in Oxford, she was an undergraduate Clinical Tutor for medical students during their psychiatry attachment. She also helped design and run an Interview Skills Training course, which was part of the induction for all new doctors starting in psychiatry. She is in her fourth year as a representative on the Trainees Committee at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and was the trainee lead on the Royal College of Psychiatry’s development of an ePortfolio system. She is currently enjoying the challenge of her first year of the Education Masters at Winchester University. She teaches on the Wessex Core Psychiatry Course for CT 1-3s in psychiatry, and has been assisting in the design of the exam preparation component of this course. She is looking forward to developing herself further and continuing to work in different educational roles as a MEF . Her main interest for the future is developing communication skills training, particularly focussing on the clinical part of the MRCPsych examination.


Dr Nicky Sparrow

Dr Nicky Sparrow is an Emergency Department Registrar currently working at University Hospital Southampton. Throughout her training she has been involved with undergraduate education and regular teaching to juniors and peers. She is a faculty member on Tomorrow's Teachers and has found this invaluable for developing her own educational style. She has also been recommended to instruct on both ALS and ATLS courses and is working towards improving educational opportunities within her department for junior staff.


Dr Lucy Sykes

Dr Lucy Sykes is a new consultant in Geriatrics and Stroke. She regularly teaches for the MRCP PACES and GP Geriatrics Diploma exams (bedside teaching). She is lead tutor for medical students rotating through the Southampton stroke unit, which includes regular tutorials as well as an informal pastoral role. She is clinical and educational supervisor for a number of trainees at all grades. She has also been involved in training local pharmacists in management of stroke in the community. At a deanery/regional level she is involved in marking 3rd and final year Southampton medical school case-study essay assessments as well as finals papers. For the last 18 months she has been co-directing the Tomorrow's Teachers courses for Health Education Wessex, plus developing the new MEF Mentorship initiative, both with Mark Szymankiewicz. She is also part of the Wessex-Ghana Stroke Partnership, helping a Ghanaian hospital develop their stroke services through education. She holds an MA (Professional Enquiry): Education from the University of Winchester.


Associate Dean for Postgraduate Medical Education

Dr Rosie Lusznat

Dr Rosie Lusznat has been a Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry since 1989 and has recently retired from NHS clinical practice. She was both a clinical and educational supervisor and previously a Locality Lead Clinician. Rosie has been the Associate Dean for the Wessex Postgraduate Medical Education since 1999, and in that role is responsible for:

  • Professional support for doctors who find themselves in difficulty
  • Educational development of trainees and their educators in all specialties.
  • She introduced and continues to manage the Medical Education Fellow role and agenda.

She is also a member of the National Clinical Assessment Service ( NCAS ) Network of expertise in the UK , and an NCAS Assessor for Old Age Psychiatry. She is also a member of the Kintampo Project which is aimed at developing mental health workers in Ghana. In 2005 she gained the MA in Education at the University of Winchester.


Former Medical Education Fellow

There have been over 50 trainees so far that have benefited from the Medical Education Fellow programme. These include: Mr James Gilbert, Dr Emma Halliwell, Dr Graham Lloyd-Jones, Dr Kate Wiles, Dr Sarah Cregan, Dr Dan Sado, Dr Adetokiunbo Osunrinade, Dr Stuart Henderson, Dr Nicki Cohen, Dr Shaheen Khazali, Dr Charlotte Smith, Dr Richard Jee, Dr Suzie Coles and many more.


Dr Poppy Mackie

Dr Poppy Mackie became a MEF at the end of 2008, towards the end of her training and has found it the most inspiring group to be part of. She feels privileged to still be part of the group, despite becoming a consultant anaesthetist in Southampton in 2009. The group offers a unique collection of individuals from a broad background and who all share a true passion and enthusiasm for all things educational.

As a trainee, she was involved in the introduction of anaesthesia to the Foundation Programme in Portsmouth. This was at the time of the introduction of MMC and proved very popular amongst trainees and is still going strong. She completed the first 2 years of the MA (Professional development) programme at Winchester University as a trainee and is now battling with the dissertation to complete the MA . She carried out an educational research project last year supported by Wessex Deanery looking at educational supervisor development in Wessex. She is continuing her interest in educational supervision as the topic of her  MA dissertation. She has become deeply involved in education as a consultant and is currently enjoying the challenge of taking on the role of College Tutor in her department. She is course director for the Wessex Final FRCA Course, and teaches and organises a number of other courses. She has been on the organising committee for the Wessex Medical Education Conference for the last two years, and would highly recommend this conference to all trainees interested in education.
Dr Mackie says - Being involved in education is the most rewarding and stimulating experience. It is the best professional development going and I am thankful for the inspiration of the MEF group


Dr Ellen Taylor

Dr Ellen Taylor is a paediatric registrar currently on a post graduate fellowship in Australia combining both Paediatrics and Medical Education. She has completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning for Health Professionals from Bristol University. She is on the faculty for Tomorrow's Teachers and has helped with development of Tomorrow's Teachers 2. She is an APLS instructor.


Mr James Manners

Mr James Manners has always found good educators to be inspiring. Prior to his university training he has worked with St John Ambulance as a cadet instructor and leader. He found working with, and teach youth members of the organisation extremely rewarding. While he was at university, he had several training and organisational roles outside medicine, working with the students union in Nottingham.
As a junior doctor he was appointed as a Fellow in Medical education, at trust level, in Southampton. This role led him to develop a new training programme for Foundation Trainees. He has subsequently become involved as a faculty member on the Tomorrow's Teachers course. He has been a regular member of the faculty for four years and was part of the group that designed the Tomorrow's Teachers 2 course. At present he is helping to co-ordinate regional teaching for the Urology training scheme, regularly speak at GP training days and courses (such as the STIF course) and continues to be involved with the Tomorrow's Teachers course. Six months ago he began studying for a Certificate in Medical Education at the University of Dundee on a distance learning course. He has recently been appointed as "Project Co-ordinator of the Tomorrow's Teachers Franchise". This role is allowing him to put together a business and sales pack for the Tomorrow's Teachers course, and then offer it to other deaneries within the UK .
Mr Manners says - The role is proving to be quite challenging but very rewarding. Teaching, training and inspiring others is enormously satisfying and I would encourage anyone who is interested in education to get more involved!


Dr Kate Akester

Dr Kate Akester is a consultant in Acute and General Medicine at Southampton General Hospital. She was appointed a MEF in the summer of 2012 and also became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has always had a passion for medical education and has recently completed a Diploma in Medical Education with Distinction at the Royal College of Physicians at UCL . In previous years she has restructured, organised and delivered Final Year Medical Student Teaching Programmes in Medicine at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth and at Salisbury District Hospital. At postgraduate level, she has helped arrange training days in AIM / GIM and the PACES exam. She has been an ALS Instructor for the last 5 years. Her current educational activities include working with the AIM Training Day Restructuring Committee to curriculum map and redesign the Wessex AIM Training Days and working with the Professional Support Unit to improve the pathway for “Unwell” Doctors. Her research interests include Foundation trainees’ views of the educational impact of Consultant Led Medical Ward Rounds and also the educational impact of Work Based Assessments/Supervised Learning Events.


Dr Andy Claridge

Dr Andy Claridge has spent much of his time since graduation trying to be involved in education as much as possible. In September 2008 he commenced on the RCP / UCL Masters in Education, closely followed in 2009 with the appointment to a MEF position. He is currently a clinical research fellow in gastroenterology having commenced a PhD in September 2009. He is found in one of two places; the academic block of Southampton General Hospital or at the driving end of a colonoscope. Most or all of his educational activities at present are taken up with his current interest which is undergraduate assessment. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Southampton, where he is 3rd year student assignment co-ordinator. As the title suggests he currently co-ordinate 3rd year assignments, and play a active role on the medical schools exams and assessment committee.
Dr Claridge says - The MEF is an important role and one that I recommend to anyone who wants to enhance their personal development and develop their skills as a medical educator.


Dr Asif Bachlani

Dr Asif Bachalani is a final year General Adult Psychiatry Trainee. He has been an education fellow for the last year, and actively involved in postgraduate and undergraduate education including the Wessex Patient Safety Programme and Tomorrow’s Teachers. He has written modules on learning and teaching for the eLearning for Health Foundation Programme. Asif is doing a postgraduate degree in Medical Education and will be completing a Diploma from the University of Winchester in 2011. Asif new mission is to encourage more medical students to become psychiatrists.    


Dr Paula Hunt

Dr Paula Hunt finished training as a GP in 2009. She has been a Medical Education Fellow since 2006 and has enjoyed co-directing Tomorrow's Teachers since 2008. Having completed her diploma in medical education, she is about to embark (with some trepidation) on the dissertation. Other recent educational activities include undergraduate teaching on a Special Study Unit on Peer Teaching, examining for medical student OSCE s and teaching 4th year medical students in GP placements. She also co-authored CASE cards, a communication skills learning resource for GP trainees.


Mr Denzil May

Mr Denzil May is a general surgical SpR in his final year of training. As an SHO  he was locally appointed as a Fellow In Medical Education in Southampton General Hospital and during this time established a surgical education programme for the Foundation doctors, which he is pleased to say; is still going today. He attended the Tomorrow's Teachers Course at this time and found it inspirational and was invited back to observe and facilitate. He has been an MEF for a few years now and has subsequently been the co-Director of Tomorrow's Teachers since 2008. He has seen the course evolve and grow, which by now run 12 courses per year with over 200 delegates passing through annually. He has led the development of the Tomorrow's Teachers 2 course, working closely with the courses and conferences centre, other faculty members and MEF s to achieve this. He is undertaking the Masters in Medical Education for Surgeons at the University of Dundee. He teaches on ATLS and is an accredited trainer in colonoscopy. 
Mr May says - I have found medical education to be both fascinating and challenging and would encourage all trainees to become more involved. Not only will this improve your teaching skills, it will also give you understanding about how to make yourself a better learner and improve your own training.

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