ETBLC Board – Danny McLaughlin

Discipline: Medicine/Basic Medical Sciences

About Me: I initially studied Physiology at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 1986. I stayed in the city to study for a PhD in Autonomic Pharmacology, before leaving to take up a postdoctoral position at the Institute of Psychiatry in London in 1990. I subsequently held postdoc positions at the Mental Health Research Institute of the University of Michigan (partly supported by an MRC Travelling Fellowship) and at the Institute of Ophthalmology in London, before being appointed Lecturer in Neuropharmacology at Bart’s and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry in 1998.

I left London in 2003 to help establish the Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) course at the University of Nottingham. This was a major change in career direction, prompted by my growing interest in medical education theory and practice. From 2008-2014, I was Director of Undergraduate Studies at Nottingham, with responsibility for GEM, the Foundation Year for Medicine, and BSc Medical Physiology & Therapeutics programmes.

My teaching expertise is in physiology, neuroscience/neuroanatomy and pharmacology.  I received professional recognition as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2013.  In 2007, I was the major author of Instant Notes in Human Physiology and have recently published Clinical Chemistry along with colleagues David White, Nigel Lawson and Paul Masters

I have held external examiner positions on the medical degree programmes at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (2006-2010 for undergraduate entry and 2011-2014 for graduate entry), the University of Birmingham (2007-2010, graduate entry), Bart’s & the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (2011-2014, undergraduate entry), and Swansea Medical School (2015-present, graduate entry).

My scholarly interests include the development of clinical reasoning skills in undergraduate medical students (I am a founder member of the UK Clinical Reasoning in Medical Education Group – CReME), TBL (obviously), and the impact of widening participation initiatives in medical education and higher education in general.

Interest in TBL: I started to use TBL with first year medical students at Durham University in 2015, incorporating this into existing teaching in a range of curricular systems/strands.  I am especially interested in whether TBL can help students develop as more independent learners and encourage them to take responsibility for their own personal/academic development, and the role that peer evaluation might play in student reflection on performance in other aspects of study.

With colleagues (Dr Marina Sawdon, Dr Judith Donkin and Dr Thushari Hewapathirana) I have developed a range of RATs and application exercises for use in case-led and systems-based teaching of medical students.

We are just about to start using TBL with medical students at Newcastle University in the new case-led MBBS curriculum.

Publications/Presentations on TBL:

    • McLaughlin, M. Sawdon (2016) Student responses to a pilot of team-based learning (TBL) in the Durham Phase I Medicine curriculum. Presented at Durham University’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, 13th September 2016.
    • Sawdon, C. Peponis, A. Le Saint-Grant, K. Doonan, D. McLaughlin (2017) Student performance in team-based learning (TBL) tests predict summative examination performance in first year undergraduate medical students. Presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of ASME in June 2017.
    • D.P. McLaughlin, R. Ahmed, M. Sawdon (2017) Student responses to team-based learning (TBL) in year one of a UK medical degree programme.  Presented at the Developing Excellence in Medical Education Conference (DEMEC) in November 2017.