Class of 1972 visits the School of Medicine

Ian Gordon
Friday 27 May 2022

The School of Medicine was delighted to welcome back the Class of 1972 as part of the group’s 50th Anniversary Class Reunion celebrations in St Andrews on Friday 20 May.

This event was of particular significance for two reasons; firstly, the Class of 1972 was the last cohort of medics to graduate from the University of St Andrews with an MBChB until this year, when the first cohort of ScotGEM graduates will be awarded an MBChB jointly by the University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee. Secondly, many in the 1972 cohort went on to have impressive careers in medicine and medical education, notably the former Dean of Medicine of the University of St Andrews, Professor Hugh MacDougall, and former Pro Dean of Medicine, Professor David W Sinclair, who remains engaged with the School as an Honorary Professor.

Group photo showing Class of 1972 outside the School of Medicine Building
Group photo, the Class of 1972: Photo credit: Gayle McIntyre

After a group photograph to commemorate the visit outside the School of Medicine Building, the 50+ former graduates and partners divided into two groups, with one group assembling in the Booth Lecture Theatre for a seminar session and Q&A with Director of Research, Professor Frank Sullivan, and the Director of the Mackenzie Institute for Early Diagnosis, Professor Peter Donnelly. The demonstration of Arclight devices by Dr Obaid Kousha were particularly well received by the group, who admired its functionality and design.

The other group met BSc Course Director, Dr Rebecca Walmsley, Deputy Director of the ScotGEM programme, Dr Andrew O’Malley and GP tutor, Dr Alex Collinson, in the Clinical Skills suite, who introduced them to the School of Medicine’s clinical teaching programme. The Lead Teacher of Anatomy, Dr Enis Cezayirli, was also on hand to answer questions about the Dissection Facility. There were three demonstration stations set up for the visitors in Clinical Skills: Ultrasound demonstrated by Dr Robert Humphreys, Dr Predrag Bjelogrlic and Dr Pierce Burr; Venepuncture using an array of clinical task trainers with diverse skin tones demonstrated by Dr Sarah Mills; and a simulation exercise using a Resusci Anne run by Dr Ben Keatley and Dr Sarah Jarvis. Student helpers, Kofi Afrifa, Katherine O’Neill and Emma Gale were instrumental in guiding visitors around the School.

Group of people in clinical skills looking at an ultrasound display
Ultrasound demonstration – Photo credit: Christal Grierson

Dr Robert Humphreys noted, “Our visitors enjoyed hearing about how basic ultrasound skills are now integrated into the curriculum for both BSc and ScotGEM students. Some of them had known and worked with Professor Ian Donald in Glasgow, who had pioneered the use of ultrasound in clinical practice. We had some interesting discussions about this and how medical education has advanced over the decades since they qualified.”

Group of four people in clinical setting. Two of the people are interacting with a Resuscitation Anne in a simulation, while the other two people look on.
Simulation exercise: image credit: Gayle McIntyre

The groups swapped locations at the halfway mark. The visit to the School concluded with a light lunch in the Café followed by university Senior Archivist Rachel Hart interviewing a few willing participants about their experience of studying at the University of St Andrews School of Medicine 50 years ago and what advice they would give to new graduates of the School.  The group then continued their tour of St Andrews with a visit to the “old” Bute Medical School Building and a tour of the Bell-Pettigrew Museum. Their final St Andrews stop was a visit to the new Laidlaw Music Centre for a tour of the building and an opportunity to experience some of the wonderful facilities in use at an open opera rehearsal in the McPherson Recital Room.

Professor Hugh MacDougall said of the visit, “I was delighted to see the School of Medicine in such fine form. The organisation and effort put in by staff impressed everyone and it was the high light of our reunion trip to St Andrews.”

The day closed with a reception and BBQ at the Landmark Hotel in Dundee where the delegates were met by the Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone and Dean of Medicine, Professor David Crossman.

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