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Hull York Medical School appoints Director of Medical Education

Posted on 2 September 2002

An internationally-respected figure in the world of medical education has been appointed Director of Medical Education at the new Hull York Medical School (HYMS).

Professor John Cookson joins HYMS this month from his current post as Director of Clinical Studies at the Leicester Warwick Medical School.

Professor Cookson's work has involved making medical education more professional, ensuring high-quality student clinical placements, supporting junior medical staff training, and forging partnerships with NHS colleagues.

Professor Cookson's earlier research was in respiratory disease and he undertook a number of studies into the prevalence of asthma and chronic bronchitis in Africa. He was one of the first to demonstrate the comparative rarity of asthma in children in Africa. He began his consultant career in the NHS in Leicester and pioneered the use of fibre optic bronchoscopy in that city. He has worked in Africa, and has travelled to Japan and Ethiopia to assess medical education in those countries.

He is married to a doctor and has two children, one of whom is a general practitioner.

Professor Bill Gillespie, Dean of HYMS, said: "Professor Cookson is an exceptional candidate and I am delighted that he is joining us. He has a great deal of experience in making medical education more dynamic and professional, and at the same time is committed to the pastoral care of his students. Professor Cookson will play an important role in establishing the School as we prepare to accept our first students in 2003."

Professor Cookson added: "I am very excited about this new medical school. It will open up a whole new world of progressive medical education and provide an excellent education for the healthcare professionals of the future. We need the approach offered by HYMS and I am confident it will be a highly-popular academic institution. I am looking forward to joining it."

Notes to editors:

  • Professor Cookson will take forward the considerable body of work that has already been done by many people in Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire in preparation for the arrival of the first students in September 2003. He will then need to ensure the smooth running of the course once the students have arrived and help co-ordinate the many parts of the NHS which will contribute to ensuring that students receive the best possible education.
  • HYMS is the landmark new medical school established by the Universities of York and Hull to serve 1.4 million people, the largest population in England not currently covered by an undergraduate medical school.
  • The school has been established in answer to a national need for more doctors and will take 130 students a year from 2003.
  • Students at HYMS will be based at one of the two universities, and will have clinical attachments in primary care and hospitals in North Yorkshire, the East Riding and Northern Lincolnshire.
  • Students are expected to be attracted by the international reputation of both universities: each has respected nurse training programmes, and Hull has a postgraduate medical school. York hosts the largest group of health policy researchers in the world and has an international reputation for research and teaching in biosciences.
  • HYMS' curriculum provides an unusual variety, with rural and urban contrasts, strong emphasis on community-based medicine, a focus on evidence-based treatment, communications and management skills.
  • HYMS aims to improve healthcare in an area with significant health deprivation and is expected to boost the regional economy through developments in biomedical and health services research. It is also hoped that it will help recruit and retain high-quality clinical staff and create new jobs.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153