A week of achievements for Dr Rebecca Walmsley
Dr Rebecca Walmsley graduates with MMed a week after induction as a Fellow into the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
It was a memorable week for Dr Rebecca Walmsley, who on Friday, June 17 2022, was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, followed by her graduation with a Master’s in Medical Education (MMed) from the University of Dundee on Friday, June 24. Simultaneous on the 17th, Dr Walmsley attended the graduation ceremony for the 2022 graduands, her first in-person graduation since becoming BSc Course Director in 2020. Dr Walmsley works as a Senior Lecturer, Clinical Lead and BSc Course Director at the University of St Andrews. She is also a practising GP at NHS Fife.
On her recent graduation, Dr Walmsley described feeling proud to see her efforts come to fruition, and grateful for the support received from her family and university. She thanked the University of St Andrews for providing funding covering 75% of the master’s course fees.
Completing this degree did not come without its challenges, from managing competing demands in her different roles to prioritising spending time with her two children. After being made BSc Course Director just before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, combining all these roles proved an uphill task, prompting her to take a year off from studies, effectively extending her programme from three to four years. Thankfully, she was able to get back into the programme and can now celebrate finishing strong. “I’ve actually enjoyed studying again”, she said. “As a part-time distance learning course, the programme was very flexible and designed for healthcare workers with clinical jobs. It felt very practical and relevant”, she added. She explained that the programme has produced a direct impact on her work and is one she would recommend.
Explaining why she decided to pursue this additional degree, Dr Walmsley, explained that the knowledge she had in education prior to this was achieved through personal training and experiential learning, and she wanted the pedagogy to give additional credibility and knowledge for teaching.
Her decision proved worthwhile in the end, with the dissertation being the most rewarding part. “In the dissertation, I could pick something relevant to my job and I combined medical practice and medical education. I got a lot out of it”, she shared. She hopes this inspires younger medics who desire to pursue additional degrees in education but are unsure of how much they can take on, to stretch their abilities beyond perceived limits.
Dr Walmsley’s appointment as a Fellow to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh comes in recognition of her contribution to medical practice and academia. Although the official Fellowship appointment was made in 2020, the induction ceremony was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and finally took place on Friday 17 June. The occasion is extra special as she is being inducted as a Fellow into the Royal College at the same time as her sister, Sarah Walmsley. “It was an emotional experience to have my parents, sister and the entire family witness this occasion”, she shared.
All at the University of St Andrews’ School of Medicine congratulate Dr Walmsley on her deserved appointment to the Fellowship and graduation.