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Meet Gudrun Edgren

28 November 2012

Meet Gudrun Edgren, the former Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, now the first Professor to have been promoted mainly on educational grounds at Lund University.

Is medical education something quite unique?

“Yes, at least to a certain extent. The Faculty of Medicine provides professional training programmes for healthcare and nursing above all, so there is a clear employer whose needs must be met by our programmes. In addition we are to take the patient into account, so we do a lot of training in patient communication. The need to cooperate in teams is a third factor that has become increasingly important. We practise this on the ‘clinical training wards’ and ‘training surgeries’ where future doctors, nurses, occupational therapists and others get to train and learn to cooperate. So far there is only one training ward in Malmö and one training surgery in Lund, but more are planned.”

You are the director of something called MedCUL. What is it?

“The name stands for ‘The Faculty of Medicine’s Centre for Teaching and Learning’ (‘Medicinska Fakultetens Centrum för Undervisning och Lärande’, in Swedish). We organise courses, seminars and workshops for all those working on the Faculty’s programmes, we give advice to lecturers and teaching teams, and we collaborate closely with the programmes boards. We also organise themed conferences, such as a recent theme day on supervision.”

Any new developments?

“The lecturers at the Faculty of Medicine often also work in healthcare, where they are under increasing time pressure. This means that lecturers find it hard to make time for courses which are not compulsory. This is why MedCUL wants to offer training which is tailored to different groups of lecturers and departments, and to take these courses out to them at a time and with a content that they choose themselves.”

How well do you think education manages to assert itself compared to research?

“The Faculty of Medicine is a research-heavy faculty and researchers must attract funding to prevent the faculty from falling behind. Therefore it is natural that there should be a strong focus on research. I still think that more attention is paid to teaching qualifications now than in the past and that they are seriously assessed in connection with appointments, for example.”

Is medical education also sufficiently appreciated?

“MedCUL was not hit by any cuts when the previous faculty management was obliged to make major savings within the faculty, something we felt was very positive. We have great support from the management of the programmes, and the many participants at our recent theme day can also be interpreted as a sign of appreciation.”

Now you will also be doing more research?

“Yes, I have already published a number of articles in the field of education, but now I will be adding to them. Half of my position as professor is set aside for research and third cycle studies, so it will be both interesting and exciting.”

Text: Ingela Björck

This text was first published in the Lund University Magazine (LUM)