Thursday, 18 September 2014

Jerry Booth and the Phil Strong Memorial Prize

In September last year Jerry Booth was fortunate to be awarded the Phil Strong Memorial Prize by the Medical Sociology section of the British Sociological Association. The purpose of the prize is to contribute to the advancement of medical sociology by supporting post-graduate research and is awarded to unwaged PhD students not in receipt of a grant on the basis of an application setting out how the prize money will be used. Jerry used it to attend meetings of the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) to rehearse aspects of his thesis and to explore how his work might best be communicated to an audience of medical educators.

He attended events and contributed to ASME workshops on professionalism and research in medical education and rounded off the year by presenting a paper to ASME’s annual conference. Entitled Tomorrow’s Doctors: from manifesto to manual it used sociological approaches to standardisation as a way of understanding the evolution of the three editions of Tomorrow’s Doctors, the General Medical Council’s template for undergraduate medical education.

The paper was a contribution to medical educators’ nascent recognition that they need theoretical approaches if their thinking is to develop further, and the year’s experiences should also add a bit of ethnographic colour to what would otherwise be a rather dry literature review of the development of medical education in the thesis.

The work it financed gave a chance to show how sociology can contribute to a fuller understanding of the history and progress of the field of medical education.

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