A Time for Change

This may not be my last blog but it will be my most difficult to write. After 24 years here in Birmingham and 3 years as your Dean I have decided to move “up north” to take on the role of Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, but with a wider remit to develop Medicine and particularly Biomedical research across the University (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/forstaff/news/article/3788/professor_paul_stewart) Whatever you chose to do in life, it is always a good exercise every once in a while to stand back and analyse where you feel you can make the greatest difference, and for a variety of reasons now is a good time for a new challenge.
We have been through a lot together in the last 3 years with new curricula, our NHS Trust teaching academies, GMC visit, change to admissions processes, intercalation expansion, anatomy reform, new estates infrastructure, MedSoc successes and dare I say it the dreaded SJT to name a few, but above all I have thoroughly enjoyed my interaction with you – our students and customers – best of all. As a group you continue to amaze me in terms of your academic abilities but also the numerous additional interests and skill sets that you seem to acquire as easy as I acquire airmiles! For me this is inspiring and professionally extremely rewarding and for this reason alone I can’t see my career moving too far away from Medical School leadership and student engagement in the forthcoming years.
I am very keen to see through this academic year and will not be leaving until all of your end of year exam boards are signed sealed and delivered and the next cohort of tomorrow’s doctors are graduated!! Hopefully this will leave ample opportunity to say goodbyes along the way. Please do me a big favour and all keep your noses clean so I have no awkward misconduct issues to handle in the interim!
Finally, one of the great joys of being a Dean is sitting around committees with other Deans of Medical Schools (ok so maybe “joys” is an over stretch!). But seriously you all need to know that having done so, and with no bias whatsoever, this is a terrific Medical School. The Dean is merely the “conductor of the orchestra” – a leader of an outstanding team, in this case Professors Gammage, Thomas, Kumar and Dr Coleman aided by Janet Crook and her staff in the School Office, all of whom have a clear and common vision of the way forward. Mahatma Gandhi famously said “the future depends on what you do today” – the Medical School has a very bright future to look forward to, and I am sure that all of you, like me will warmly welcome the new Dean when an appointment is made in the months to come……

PM Stewart
13 th March

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