Professor Russell Smith retired as Postgraduate Dean for the West Midlands and Midlands Regional Dean on 31st March 2023 after 8 years in post. Prior to these roles he was Associate Dean for Quality and Deputy Postgraduate Dean in the West Midlands.
Russell trained in London, qualifying in 1984, and then moved between Central, East and South London, and Essex, to train in General Medicine and Cardiology.
During his time as Dean he has overseen the response to, and recovery from, COVID. This included during the first wave of COVID in 2020, a return to inpatient duties on the full 12.5 hour shift rota including nights and furrows into ITU.
As he departs, his efforts toward achieving a fair distribution of trainees across England is finally bringing more training posts to the West Midlands with resources to train them. This has included expanding TPD sessions and resourcing funding to now reimburse those in secondary care. High quality training has been his driving ambition alongside high quality service and breaking down training and service barriers between primary and secondary care. The Bugle thought it would take this opportunity to find out more about Russell’s career, wisdom and plans for the future.
Here in our blog we share a taster with you……
What’s the education initiative or policy you’re most proud of?
I’ll give 3 if allowed but there are more:
The distribution programme has had a long gestation that I was in from the beginning this time after failed initiatives over many previous decades. It will finally bring a fair distribution of training posts across England.
Also getting secondary care TPDs re-imbursed was a success – we and our Trusts weren’t when I was a TPD.
Cardiology is very male dominated which is bad for the specialty, medicine generally and patients. As yet another male chair of the SAC and Vice President of the British Cardiovascular Society I strived to improve female recruitment into the specialty. It is a slow process but that has been continued – my successor was the first female chair.
Read the Spring edition of the Clinical Tutor Newsletter 2023 for the full article