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Paul is a Reader in Psychometric Epidemiology and a member of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG) in the Department of Health Sciences, and holds a joint appointment with the Hull York Medical School (HYMS).
Paul’s academic work is focussed on eliciting and measuring individual differences (psychometrics) and linking these to outcomes. Paul is a psychiatrist by professional background and remains an Honorary NHS Consultant in the Forensic Psychiatry of Adolescence with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. Consequently Paul’s earlier work focussed on population mental health, though more latterly is mainly concerned with the ‘educational epidemiology’ of the healthcare workforce. In particular Paul is recognised for his expertise in exploiting large, routinely arising datasets in clinical education in order to address important questions related to the selection, assessment and regulation of the health workforce.
As a methodologist Paul is interested in the philosophy and mathematics of psychological measurement. Paul refers to the concept of ‘meta-measurement’ which relates to both the indices by which we understand the properties of a psychological measurement (e.g. the information characteristic curve of a test) as well the context in which psychological testing occurs (e.g. the tensions that sometimes exist between obtaining a robust measurement model and the pragmatic, criterion-related validity of a selection test). As lead for the DREAMS network. Paul has been developing new approaches to understanding and communicating the effectiveness of personnel selection methods. Thus, Paul hopes to support the development of ‘Evidence-Based Selection’ in health services.
Paul graduated from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne with a medical degree and an intercalated BMedSci(Hons) in psychopharmacology. Paul was later awarded a Medical Doctorate (MD) for his work developing and validating the Family Perceptions Scale - a tool designed to explore and measure subjective family functioning in adolescents.
Paul was previously supported in his research by a HEFCE Clinical Senior Lecturer Fellowship, hosted at Durham University (2009-2014) where he spent some time as co-director for the Centre for Medical Education Research. More latterly Paul was awarded an NIHR Career Development Fellowship to fund a programme of work on selection in the health workforce.
Paul is interested in exploiting routinely arising data relating to the selection, assessment and regulation of the healthcare workforce.
As a psychometric epidemiologist Paul measures individual differences in the workforce and aims to use these to make predictions about future educational and, ultimately, clinical performance. Paul has previously received research funding from the General Medical Council (the UK Medical Regulator), the Department of Health (DH) for England as well as the UK Clinical Aptitude Test Board, that oversees the selection assessment used by most British Medical Schools.
Paul’s NIHR Fellowship is funding a five year programme of work initially focussed on predictive modelling in medical selection, then intended to develop a situational judgment testing system designed to support values based recruitment (VBR) in mental health services.
From a methodological perspective Paul, as lead for the DREAMS network has been developing new approaches to understanding and communicating the effectiveness of personnel selection methods. In particular the extent to which numerical simulation-based methods (such as imputation) can address the issue of restriction of range in personnel selection (i.e. outcomes can only be observed in successful applicants). This has led to the concept of Number Needed to Reject (NNR) - the ratio of candidates likely to have acceptable performance that would have to be rejected in order to avoid one candidate likely to have an undesirable outcome, for a given selection measure in a given context. Paul has also recently worked on an EPSRC funded project evaluating novel, model based approaches to prediction using machine learning. Paul has been exploring different approaches to modelling responses to Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs).
Paul is lead investigator on the following current projects:
Paul is co-applicant on the following projects:
Paul is interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas: quantitative research in the area of clinical education and workforce issues, as they relate to health services.