Gerard Gormley

    Gerard Gormley

    Clinical Professor

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 2169, +44 (0)28 9097 6158

    For media contact email
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

    View graph of relations



    I am a Clinical Professor (Education) in the Centre for Medical Education (CME), Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). I qualified in medicine in 1995 and as a general practitioner in 2000. I work part-time (50%) in a busy general practice near to Belfast. I chose to become an academic GP because it allows me to synergise the clinical, research and educational aspects of my job towards the competent and compassionate care of patients. I gained a Doctorate in Medicine relating to medical education and patient care in 2003. In 2005 I was appointed Clinical Teaching Fellow at QUB and promoted to my current position as Senior Lecturer in 2007. I am also a visiting Professor at the Wilson Centre, Toronto, Canada. In 2018 I was appointed as Professor of Simulation and Clincial Skills



    In my 2.5 academic days per week I have a number of key roles in the QUB medical school.



    I promote scholarly activity with the aim of integrating and augmenting evidence supporting the education of the next generation of doctors 'Scholarly and Educational Research Network' (SERN) . I actively involve students as research investigators because I am passionate about nurturing their academic talent. 



    As a practising clinician, educator and researcher I feel that I am well positioned to carry out relevant and practical medical education research. Currently I have two main streams of research, namely relating to Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) and simulation based learning in healthcare.



    Since their inception in the late seventies, OSCEs are ubiquitous in healthcare profession education. In terms of OSCE research, a psychometric discourse has largely predominated. It is my belief that such a reductionist stance does little to illuminate the complex social processes that occur within OSCEs, and how they shape the development of our students. There are concerns that OSCEs may have undesirable influences on our next generation of healthcare professionals. Social learning theories are opening up an emerging discourse around OSCEs, allowing us to get ‘behind the numbers’ and gain a greater understanding about the complex social systems that occur within OSCEs. In clinical practice - uncertainty, disturbance and risk often prevail. Rather than creating a ‘slice of this clinical life’, OSCEs often digitises human / clinical experiences that is espoused to be ‘clinical competence’.  My program of research aims to clarify some of these complex processes.



    My second stream of research explores the area of simulation in healthcare education. Often technology, rather than pedagogy, predominates in healthcare simulation based education. Using dramaturgical and psychological techniques I aim to create a wide range of explicit and implicit cues that allows a more embodied and immersive simulated learning experience. By taking students to the edge of their clinical competency, in a safe and forgiving environment, students have the potential to gain a greater insight into their actions and behaviours expected of them. By extending the context of simulation into areas that doctors often feel unprepared for such as dealing with ethical and moral dilemmas, is a key feature of my research. Furthermore I am developing novel techniques of data capture in such dynamic simulated learning experiences.


    Ultimately it is my hope that these streams of research will synergistically open up new methods of assessment for medical students. It is my belief that the direction of travel of OSCE development, must allow us to make judgments on student progression which includes aspects of uncertainty, divergent thinking, learning and growing from failure, and embracing the emotional and team dimensions of clinical competency. Such higher level competencies require authentic contexts to be adequately assessed. These developments may help us to make better judgments of those students that can progress into more complex and unstable clinical environments and allow their competency to further grow and develop



    As a clinician I also have a research interest in prostate cancer and the use (and misuse) of Prostate Sensitive Antigen (PSA). Some of the most infamous errors in medicine have occurred when surgery was performed on the wrong side of their body. I have developed a research curiosity as to why some individuals make such right-left errors in healthcare.

    Frequent Journals

    • Medical Education

      ISSNs: 0308-0110

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1365-2923


      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 2.09 SJR 1.971 SNIP 1.964


    • The Ulster Medical Journal

      ISSNs: 0041-6193

      The Ulster Medical Society

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 0.29 SJR 0.239 SNIP 0.362


    • Medical teacher

      ISSNs: 0142-159X

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1466-187X

      Informa Healthcare

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 1.88 SJR 1.36 SNIP 1.683


    • Perspectives on medical education

      ISSNs: 2212-2761

      Bohn Stafleu van Loghum


    • Advances in Simulation

      ISSNs: 2059-0628


    View all »

    View all

    View all

    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 33316