Professor Sue Smith is the Founding Director of the Medical Education Research Unit
She started her academic career with a BSc in Pharmacology from the University of Liverpool, followed by a PhD in Biochemistry studying the impact of lung and airway disease on the protease/antiprotease balance at the lung surface at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School.
During an MRC fellowship, she had the opportunity to start teaching pharmacology at Charing Cross and the merger with Imperial provided an exciting opportunity to contribute to a number of areas of the (then) new six year MBBS/BSc curriculum, most notably Pharmacology and Therapeutics which she co-lead for the first few years of its existence. Appointment to the role of Deputy Head (Teaching) for NHLI provided an opportunity to take a substantial role in educational leadership which allowed her to shape the taught educational portfolio of the Institute and build a highly successful educational faculty.
She has held a number of other senior leadership positions in education including Head of Examinations and Assessments, Director of Education and, from 2010-2014, Deputy Director of Education for the Faculty of Medicine. As well as providing direction and support to key elements of educational activity within the Faculty, these leadership roles also provide excellent opportunities to undertake educational research, which was recognized by the College in the conferment of her Chair in Medical Education in 2012.
In 2014, she was invited to set up the Medical Education Research Unit (MERU) and since then, has steadily built up medical education research activity across the Faculty. . In 2018 she led a successful application for recognition of the Faculty's excellence in student engagement in the form of an ASPIRE award from the Association for Medical Education in Europe.
Her personal research interests include identifying ways of widening participation in medicine at all stages from pre-application to medical school onwards. Part of her interests in identifying and removing barriers to careers in medicine, is manifest through her exploration of methods for selection at all stages of the clinical career journey
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et al., 2021, Scientific medical conferences can be easily modified to improve female inclusion: a prospective study., The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, Vol:9, ISSN:2213-8595, Pages:556-559