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Education Subcommittee
 Emyr Benbow Chairman's Report: Education and Training

Exciting, this task of Chairing the Education and Training Sub-Committee. Our meetings are now virtual because we're teleconferencing, and the very first nearly went badly wrong: I'd been supervising a focus group of first year medical students when one of the participants had an asthma attack. Mainly coughing, and not a lot of wheezing, but I couldn't really abandon her to the tender mercies of her peers, so I was ten minutes late returning to my office to phone in. Still, it allowed my committee members plentiful opportunity to express their ennui by e-mail, so their time wasn't entirely wasted. And don't mock focus group studies: this was research led by two medical students who asked me to design projects for them, about pathology, in a part of the course where I don't normally participate. And it may just provide publishable insights into how students' religious backgrounds influence their views on autopsies.


Other things haven't gone as well. We'd intended the Third Pathological Society Summer School to be about teaching, in particular to help pathologists engage with unfamiliar pedagogic methods. We know that the most important factor by far in inducing students to follow some particular career pathway is a positive role model, and we also know that opportunities to model one's role can be very few and far between in educationally modern undergraduate courses. The subtext for our Summer School was to give delegates the confidence to get stuck into their local courses, whatever their academic philosophy, thus demonstrating to students that what we do is both interesting and valuable, and by that means attracting an occasional acolyte. We'd assembled a cast of pathological teachers who could demonstrate expertise across the entire spectrum of teaching and assessment methods, so it was sad we had to cancel because bookings were too few for the project to remain financially viable.


We're managing to fill our quota of intercalated BSc bursaries, just, but we may get to the end of the year without spending all the funds we have available for elective bursaries. There is a clear trend for students to apply for shorter periods of support, so we can help a larger number if they apply. Encourage them if you possibly can. We'd also like more entries for the Essay Prize: this year, until the deadline was extended, we had only three entries. Next year's title (and no, it wasn't chosen be me) is "The Autopsy is Dead". Plenty to ponder on there.


Emyr Benbow


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