Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineFaculty of Medicine Centre

Honorary Clinical Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7589 5111 ext 57892cristina.koppel




H3.32Chelsea and Westminster HospitalChelsea and Westminster Campus




Using tech for better thinking

Cristina has been involved in medical education since 2001, training first year medical students all the way up to qualified doctors and senior neurosurgical registrars for their exit exam. 

She creates and researches the use of technology to enhance executive function: decision making, memory, understanding, strategic planning and mental simulation (imagination, creativity and innovation). 

She has designed and implemented virtual patients, animations and emulators in collaboration with Imperial's E-learning Implementation Group and Tata Interactive in India, one of which won an award from the Association for Learning Technology in 2008. 

She designed and ran her own education website, Thinking Medicine from 2006-17.  Her neuro-ophthalmology virtual patient was the first hit on Google for "visual fields tutorial" (until the demise of Flash).

She is a trained simulation instructor for the London Deanery’s STeLI (Simulation and Technology-enhanced Learning Initiative).

She established the concept design for the London Deanery's Nucleus, a social network of online resources to support the generic training curriculum.

She continues to develop tech to support higher level thinking (see below), currently focused on developing a lean and strategic online reflective portfolio that facilitates team learning. 

"make this hospital teach better"

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Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, 2009-2011

Cristina and Dr Jane Currie were the first Medical Education Fellows.  They worked as a team across a wide variety of roles managing 42 projects across 2 sites including running onsite high-stakes examinations and presenting to visiting international delegates. 

This was a new role.  Their job description was one line: "make this hospital teach better" -from undergraduate to postgraduate level.  Go.   


This was the first step that allowed us to identify areas for further research and design successful interventions. 


1. Assessing the educational environment: a system for monitoring change to target and evaluate interventions. C Koppel, J Currie, L Burton, M Ruwanpathirana, S Singh, M Lupton. Oral presentation, AMEE.  Vienna, August 2011

2. The first step to making a teaching hospital teach better: establishing a benchmark for educational quality. C Koppel, J Currie, S Singh, M Lupton. Oral presentation, 14th Ottawa Conference.   Miami, May 2010


Our research showed that sometimes bedside teaching was understandably missed in an opportunistic and busy environment.  We created and managed an online portal linking senior doctors to medical students. 

We reduced missed sessions by 50%.


1. 'An online education portal the way users want it' - Developing a fit-for-purpose communications solution based on user needs. C Koppel, J Currie, M Lupton, S Singh. Oral presentation AMEE 2010.  Glasgow, September 2010


Our research identified junior doctors as an underdeveloped resource.  We trained them to teach and introduce new students to the complex clinical environment.

With the junior doctor's help, we created and rolled out a new induction system, giving students a warm introduction to a hectic environment and their teachers a sense of accomplishment and new skill set. 


1. An underdeveloped resource? A questionnaire study of junior doctors' contributions to undergraduate teaching.  C Koppel, J Currie, M Lupton, S Singh. Oral presentation ASME Annual Scientific Meeting. Cambridge, July 2010

2. Foundation Doctors as Education Leaders for Undergraduates.  A Koo, Z Mickute, N Calder, I Ali, C Koppel. Poster presentation AMEE 2011.  Vienna, August 2011


We were invited to project manage the new E-portfolio system set up at Imperial College. 

We helped design and roll out an online reflective journal for over 1000 users across 5 hospitals.


1. Implementation and use of E-portfolios in Undergraduate Medicine at Imperial College London. M Toro-Troconis, A Hemani, A Vallance, C Koppel, J Currie, C Gabriel. Oral presentation AMEE 2010. Glasgow, September 2010

2. Rethinking portfolios as a process: strategies for creating a successful portfolio culture. C Koppel, J Currie. Workshop (90mins), AMEE.  Vienna, August 2011

3. Educational culture change: The reflective portfolio as a process. C Koppel, J Currie, A Hemani, B Nong, M Toro-Troconis, A Vallance. Oral presentation ASME, Edinburgh 2011. Oral presentation 15th Ottawa conference.  Kuala Lumpur, March 2012

International work

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Cristina continued her research in medical education as a Fellow at The Wilson Centre, Toronto University Hospital (2010-12) and consulted in e-learning for King Saud University, Saudi Arabia


Nehal Khamis, Rawabi Aljumaiah, Alla Alhumaid, Hiba Alraheem, Dalal Alkadi, Cristina Koppel & Hamza Mohammad Abdulghani: Undergraduate medical students’ perspectives of skills, uses and preferences of information technology in medical education: A cross-sectional study in a Saudi Medical College, Medical Teacher, DOI: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1465537 07 May 2018.

 Amr Jamal, Mohamad-Hani Temsah, Samina A Khan, Ayman Al-Eyadhy, Cristina Koppel, Michael F Chiang. Mobile Phone Use Among Medical Residents: A Cross-Sectional Multicenter Survey in Saudi Arabia. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2016 (May 19); 4(2):e61

Zakaria, A. Jamal, S Bisht, C. Koppel. Lessons learned from embedding a Learning Management System (LMS) into an undergraduate Medical Informatics Course in Saudi Arabia. Med 2 0. 2013 Jul-Dec; 2(2): e13. Published online Nov 27, 2013. doi: 10.2196/med20.2735