Dr John Russell 

2020 candidate for Dean

RUSSELL, Dr John Alastair, MB ChB (Aberdeen), MRCGP, FRCPsych
Consultant Psychiatrist in Intellectual Disability, NHS Lothian and NHS Fife
RCPsych Associate Dean for Curricula (2018)

My summary statement

I have extensive experience in medical education, training and leadership.

My priorities as your Dean will be to:

  1. Boost Recruitment
  2. Implement Curricula
  3. Champion research
  4. Guarantee equity in education and training
  5. Optimise technology
  6. Ensure equality for all

Thank you for your support.


My supporting statement

Ddarllen y datganiad hwn yn Gymraeg

I have been a Consultant Psychiatrist with the SE Scotland Intellectual Disability Service since 2002. 

My interest in medical education and training spans 20 year including roles as: 

  • Clinical and Educational Supervisor 
  • Training Programme Director
  • College Tutor and Regional Advisor
  • Member of the UK Psychiatry Recruitment Board
  • Chair of the RCPsych Psychiatry ID Specialty Advisory Committee
  • RCPsych Associate Dean for Curricula

I lead the RCPsych Curricula Review Project. We have successfully gained GMC recognition for the new High Level Outcomes for all Curricula.

This role has given me significant insight into the challenges in education and training in Psychiatry across the UK.

The pandemic will have long-term sequelae and implications for society. 

In addition we are managing increasing complexity, uncertainty, and the effects of trauma. We need to look after ourselves and others and continually reflect on all that we do.

Significantly investing in education and training will ensure that all trainees and College members are fully equipped to face these challenges.

 My priorities as your Dean will be:

1 – Recruitment to Psychiatry

The #ChoosePsychiatry campaign has successfully boosted recruitment. Maintaining high standards of education and training throughout Psychiatry is paramount. 

As Dean, I will promote both Core and Higher Psychiatry training by actively engaging with medical undergraduates, Foundation doctors and Core trainees. 

2 – Curricula 

The new Curricula framework is: 

  • Patient-centred, holistic, values-based, succinct, sustainable and accessible to all. 
  • Flexible and adaptable to a variety of circumstances and clinical presentations.
  • Relevant to trainees both now and in the future. 

The Curricula Training Guides will be the living and breathing part of the framework and will be shaped by trainees, trainers and educators.

As Dean, I will aim for the successful implementation of the Curricula and the new e-Portfolio over the next 12 months. 

3 – Academic Psychiatry

It is essential that access to academic, research and quality improvement experience is of a consistently high standard across the UK.

I will work closely with the new Associate Dean for Academic Training to deliver this.  

4 – Equity of access to educational and training opportunities across the UK

As Dean, I will ensure educational programmes receive the accreditation they deserve, irrespective of location.

I will also set up a system of Regional Tutors, who will champion the consistent delivery of high quality education and training across all the UK in the following:

  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Eating disorders
  • Addictions
  • Perinatal psychiatry 
5 – Technology

The pandemic has taught us how to use technology creatively and effectively. I will lead the development of digital literacy including the use of new technologies for education, training, Tele-psychiatry, CPD, examinations, and recruitment. 

We will be the Medical Specialty spearheading this.

6 – Equality 

There is inequality of attainment in the careers of International Medical Graduates, women and those with protected characteristics.

We all deserve to achieve our full potential. 

As Dean, I will advocate passionately for equal opportunities for all.

Thank you for your support.