Reflections on Global Fellowship with Professor Roger Strasser

Wednesday 15 June 2022
Prof Roger Strasser

The School of Medicine has been fortunate to have Professor Roger Strasser join the School as a Global Fellow throughout May and June 2022. The Global Fellowship Scheme provides prestigious awards to world leading scholars from around the globe to spend up to a month at St Andrews. The Fellow can use the time for research, explore potential collaborations, and develop new research interests.

Between 2002 and 2019, Professor Strasser was Founding Dean of Canada’s Northern Ontario School of Medicine. He is a leader in the global reform of rural health professional education and research, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on rural, socially accountable medical education.  In 2020, Prof Strasser became New Zealand’s first Professor of Rural Health at the University of Waikato.

Strasser began his fellowship with a public lecture: Learning Medicine in General Practice: The Contribution of Immersive Community Engaged Education. In this he outlined his research in developing strategies and methods to support primary care, rural general practice and community engagement in medicine. All of these components underpin the School’s ScotGEM programme, with its focus on the Scottish Government’s strategy of strengthening rural general practice in Scotland.

Whilst at St Andrews he has observed and participated in Clinical Skills session teaching with Generalist Clinical Mentors, attended workshops with the ScotGEM leadership team, Education and PBS divisions to discuss research and delivered seminars. Strasser met with the Medical Education Team at NHS Fife and members of the Scottish Government. He met our principal, Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE, alongside our Dean of Medicine, Professor David Crossman to discuss the School strategy.

Strasser’s fellowship will culminate at the first ScotGEM graduation on Friday 17 June, 2022, and then, a visit to Ireland to deliver the keynote at the Rural Wonca conference.

Professor Strasser said of his fellowship:

“What a privilege it has been for me to experience the warmth of the St Andrews University hospitality and the dynamism of the School of Medicine’s education and research staff. I was particularly impressed by the success of ScotGEM with its outstanding educational innovations, including the Generalist Clinical Mentors, Agents of Change course and the rural general practice based Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship.”

Director of Research Prof Frank Sullivan said:

As we knew he would, Roger Strasser provided a valuable analysis of progress with ScotGEM as the first cohort graduates and advice on how to develop the community based elements of our curriculum. Part of that development will include pedagogical research involving members of our Education Division and the wider university through the Centre for Higher Education Research (CHER). Global Fellows are expected to contribute to the scholarly community at St Andrews and encourage us ‘Ever to Excel’ which he certainly has.

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