Professor Helen Cameron

Helen Cameron
  • Position: Dean of Medical Education 
  • Telephone: 0121 204 4585
  • Email:


I joined Aston Medical School in April 2017, from the University of Edinburgh Medical School, where I was Professor of Undergraduate Medical Education and Director of the Centre for Medical Education. I was attracted to Aston Medical School by the challenge of setting up new education programmes including a new MBChB, within a new School. I also admired the international vision, the aim of widening participation through the Sir Doug Ellis Healthcare Pathway and the excellent support the University offers to its students from all backgrounds and cultures. 

I am particularly interested in how best to prepare medical students for clinical practice; and use assessment and feedback to enhance learning, especially self-regulated learning.

During my time at Edinburgh I led and taught on the Assessment and Standard-setting module within the MSc in Clinical Education. 

  • BSc MBChB (University of Edinburgh)
  • FHEA
  • FAcadMedEd

Clinical posts in anaesthetics, general medicine, oncology and palliative care across the UK and India. I moved into education with posts in Aberdeen and then Edinburgh.  I arrived in Edinburgh Medical School at a time of major curriculum reform in 1998 and became the Director of the Centre of Medical Education in 2003.  From 2003 to 2017 the Centre grew from 3 to 33 staff as it expanded its responsibilities for curriculum development and enhancement, developed teaching in clinical skills and professional development, and created a staff development programme, masters and PhD programmes in clinical education, and a simulated patient service.  During this time the CME also contributed to a number of international projects and undertook consultancy work. I took up the post of Dean of Medical Education at Aston Medical School on 1 April 2017.

  • Preparedness for practice of medical graduates
  • Assessment, academic feedback and self-regulated learning
  • Curriculum outcomes and mapping
Supervising 4 MD students on a range of topics around peer teaching, assessment and feedback, Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs), and human factors in prescribing.
  • 2016 (December): £14,930 awarded by the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme in support of the project: Formative Assessment: how useful is it, who does it help the most, and how can we improve it further? Co-investigator with Dr David Hope et al.
  • 2016 (May): £36,060 awarded by the Medical Schools Council Assessment Alliance (MSCAA) in support of the project: Applying Rasch Modelling to Evaluate Passing Standards and Identify Common Strengths and Weaknesses. Co-investigator with Dr David Hope et al. (Joint project between Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds.)
  • 2015 (May): £9,812 awarded by the Scottish Medical Education Research Consortium (SMERC) in support of the project: How ready is Scotland to adopt Entrustable Professional Activities in supporting transition to the early years of clinical practice? Co-investigator with Dr Alan Jaap et al.
  • 2015 (May): £8,350 awarded by the Higher Education Academy in support of the project: Faltering at Transitions: Defining Optimal Support. Co-investigator with Dr David Hope et al.
  • 2015 (April): £5,000 awarded by the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme in support of the project: Exploring feedback-seeking behaviour in workplace education using Feedback Postcards. Co- investigator with Dr Michelle Arora et al. 
  • 2015 (April): £7,871 awarded by the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme in support of project: Entrustable Professional Activities – a new way to ensure Edinburgh graduates in medicine are prepared for practice. Co-investigator with Dr Alan Jaap et al.
  • 2013 (October): £15,000 awarded by the Principals’ Teaching Award Scheme in support of Early Warning Project. Co-investigator with Dr David Hope et al. 
  • Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME)
  • Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) – in practice a fully international association
  • Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  • Higher Education Academy
  • Academy of Medical Educators
  • Honorary Chair, University of Edinburgh, currently supervising 4 MD students. 2017 ongoing.
  • General Medical Council Associate Specialist: Undertakes regular quality assurance visits to UK medical schools.
  • Consultant to Edgehill Medical School. 2018 ongoing.
  • Member of the MSCAA reference group, representing the University since 2018 and before this representing University of Edinburgh 2011-17. 
  • External Auditor to the EU funded IDEAL Project (Infectious Diseases Teaching Europe/Africa Learning).  2017 – 2019
  • Member Advisory Board for EU funded HELICAL MSCA Innovative Training Network (HELICAL addresses need for researchers with required informatics skills and knowledge by developing a trans-sectoral and interdisciplinary training programme.)  2018 – 2022
  • External Examiner / Reviewer 2003-16: Dublin, Dundee, Belfast and Hull York (MBChB) and Dundee (MMedEd and MSc Diabetes)
  • Manuscript reviewer for: Medical Education, Clinical Teacher, Medical Teacher, Biomed Central.
  • Member of Scottish Deans Medical Education Group 2003-17.
  • Associate Director for the Scottish Medical Education Research Consortium and Network Lead for Assessment and Feedback 2014-17. 
  • Range of international consultancy and project lead responsibilities to develop higher and medical education across the EU, in Malawi and Lithuania from 2009 – 2017.  
  • Visiting Professor to Kwong Wah Hosital, Hong Kong – March 2014

Recent invited speaker contributions

  • Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (Birmingham Symposium) 5 September 2018:
    The Medical Education Landscape.
  • Lithuanian Bologna Higher Education Project on Aligning Assessment and Learning (Vilnius) June and November 2017:
    Developing Student-centred Learning, Teaching and Assessment. 
  • Hong Kong University’s symposium Frontiers in Medical and Health Sciences Education (Hong Kong) November 2016:
    Developing Assessment for Learning and Standard Setting
  • University of Malawi (Blantyre) October 2015:
    Models of Outcome Based Education and Quality Assurance
  • University of Helsinki (Helsinki) May 2015:
    Preparedness for Practice
  • International Medical Education Forum (Krakow) May 2014:
    Educating the 21st century physician
  • Kwong Wah Hospital (Hong Kong) March 2014:
    Range of assessment and medical education topics in 3 lectures.   

Peer Reviewed Publications

Hope, D. and Cameron, H. (2018) ‘Academic performance remains predictive over a five year medical degree’, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, pp. 1–10. doi: 10.1080/14703297.2018.1459199.

Storrar, N., Hope, D. and Cameron, H. (2018) ‘Student perspective on outcomes and process – Recommendations for implementing competency-based medical education’, Medical teacher. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1450496.

Feehally, J., Brusselmans, A., Finkelstein, F.O., Harden, P., Harris, D., Manuzi, G., Naicker, S., Tonelli, M., Cameron, H., 2016. Improving global health: measuring the success of capacity building outreach programs: a view from the International Society of Nephrology. Kidney International Supplements 6, 42–51.

Fullbrook, A., Ross, M., Mellanby, E., Wylde, K., Jaap, A., Cameron, H., 2015. Initial experiences of a student assistantship. The Clinical Teacher 12, 1–5. doi:10.1111/tct.12355

Hope, D., Cameron, H., 2015. Examiners are most lenient at the start of a two-day OSCE. Medical teacher 37, 81–85.

Dearden, E., Mellanby, E., Cameron, H., Harden, J., 2015. Which non-technical skills do junior doctors require to prescribe safely? A systematic review. British journal of clinical pharmacology 80, 1303– 1314.

Tallentire, V.R., Smith, S.E., Skinner, J., Cameron, H.S., 2015. Exploring patterns of error in acute care using framework analysis. BMC Medical Education 3.

Smith, S.E., Tallentire, V.R., Cameron, H.S., Wood, S.M., 2013. The effects of contributing to patient care on medical students’ workplace learning. Medical education 47, 1184–1196.

Tallentire, V.R., Smith, S.E., Skinner, J., Cameron, H.S., 2012. Exploring Error in Team-Based Acute Care Scenarios. Academic Medicine 87, 792–798.

Smith, S., Tallentire, V., Wood, M., Cameron, H., 2012. The distracted intravenous access (DIVA) test. The Clinical Teacher 9, 320–324.

Tallentire, V.R., Smith, S.E., Cameron, H.S., 2012. Designing a purposeful student assistantship. The Clinical Teacher 9, 210–215.

Smith, S.E., Tallentire, V.R., Spiller, J., Wood, S.M., Cameron, H.S., 2012. The educational value of using cumulative sum charts. Anaesthesia 67, 734–740.

Smith, S.E., Tallentire, V.R., Cameron, H.S., Wood, S.M., 2012. Pre-prescribing: a safe way to learn at work? The Clinical Teacher 9, 45–49.

Tallentire, V.R., Smith, S.E., Skinner, J., Cameron, H.S., 2012. The preparedness of UK graduates in acute care: a systematic literature review. Postgraduate Medical Journal 88, 365–371.

Tallentire, V.R., Smith, S.E., Wylde, K., Cameron, H.S., 2011. Are medical graduates ready to face the challenges of Foundation training? Postgraduate medical journal 87, 590–595.

Tallentire, V.R., Smith, S.E., Skinner, J., Cameron, H.S., 2011. Understanding the behaviour of newly qualified doctors in acute care contexts. Medical Education 45, 995–1005.

Chesser, A., Cameron, H., Evans, P., Cleland, J., Boursicot, K., Mires, G., 2009. Sources of variation in performance on a shared OSCE station across four UK medical schools. Med Educ 43, 526–532.

Rodrigues, J., Sengupta, A., Mitchell, A., Kane, C., Kane, C., Maxwell, S., Cameron, H., Ross, M., Ford, M., 2009. The Southeast Scotland Foundation Doctor Teaching Programme--is “near-peer” teaching feasible, efficacious and sustainable on a regional scale? Med Teach 31, e51-57.

Ford, M., Masterton, G., Cameron, H., Kristmundsdottir, F., 2008. Supporting struggling medical students. The Clinical Teacher 5, 232–238.

MacDougall, M., Riley, S.C., Cameron, H.S., McKinstry, B., 2008. Halos and Horns in the Assessment of Undergraduate Medical Students: A Consistency-Based Approach. Journal of Applied Quantitative Methods 3, 116–128.

Ross, M.T., Cameron, H.S., 2007. Peer assisted learning: a planning and implementation framework: AMEE Guide no. 30. Med Teach 29, 527–545.

Morton, J., Cumming, A., Cameron, H., 2007. Performance-based assessment in undergraduate medical education. The Clinical Teacher 4, 36–41.

Ellaway, R., Evans, P., Mckillop, J., Cameron, H., Morrison, J., Mckenzie, H., Mires, G., Pippard, M., Simpson, J., Cumming, A., Harden, R., Guild, S., 2007. Cross-referencing the Scottish Doctor and Tomorrow’s Doctors learning outcome frameworks. Med Teach 29, 630–635.

Parks, R., Warren, P.M., Boyd, K.M., Cameron, H., Cumming, A., Lloyd-Jones, G., 2006. The Objective Structured Clinical Examination and student collusion: marks do not tell the whole truth. Journal of Medical Ethics 32, 734–738.

Morton, J., Anderson, L., Frame, F., Moyes, J., Cameron, H., 2006. Back to the future: teaching medical students clinical procedures. Medical Teacher 28, 723–728.

McKinstry, B., Cameron, H., Elton, R., Riley, S., 2004. Leniency and halo effects in marking undergraduate short research projects. BMC Medical Education 4, 28. 

Books Chapters and Reviews

Cameron, H.S., Ross, M.T., Cumming AD (2013) A Tuning guide to designing and delivering an outcomes-based undergraduate medical curriculum. The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Cameron, H.S., Assessment and Academic Feedback in JASME Clinical Teaching Course Handbook 2009.

Scottish Deans’ Medical Education Group, Association for Medical Education in Europe. The Scottish doctor: learning outcomes for the medical undergraduate in Scotland : a foundation for competent and reflective practitioners. Dundee: Association for Medical Education in Europe; 2008.

Ellaway, R., Cameron, H.S., Ross, M.T., (with contributions from Laurie G, Maxwell M, Pratt R) 2007. Towards a clinical commons: using clinical recordings for academic non-clinical settings. In: Carpenter L, Milloy C eds. (with Estelle L, Williams J); Digital images in education: realising the vision. London, JISC Collections.

The University of Edinburgh Chancellor’s Award for Teaching 2013