Labour Day series

I have deliberately had a quiet year as regards pieces on this website because I wanted to reflect carefully on my priorities and to give an increased emphasis to quality over quantity.

In a flurry of activity around the theme of Labour Day I have posted the Labour Day series which reflect my current activities.

Hence there is a piece about the project investigating the meanings of professional identity in multiprofessional teams from health and social care organisations (1). This project fits well with my teaching and research on professionalism and communication skills.

There is a piece about the National Health Service’s defined benefit pension scheme and the complex issues surrounding taxation, the lifetime allowance and the annual allowance taper (2). I think a vociferous minority of senior doctors have done great harm to the status of our profession by their avarice, hypocrisy, and neglect of the core principle of fairness. In my teaching, this issue of pensions provides a case study that keeps on giving with regards to professionalism, ethics, and social justice.

More constructively, the two pieces about the relationships between vernacular architecture and the learning environments (3, 4) demonstrate what a joy it is to research this topic and to explore it in my teaching. I have formed rich contacts with learners and faculty at St Mary’s University, Dalhousie University and Mount Allison University in the Canadian Maritimes and I have been able to relate the topic to my teaching with learners in human animal medicine and veterinary medicine in the United Kingdom (5).

I have been following the news of orientation and homecoming at Mount Allison University because I have always enjoyed the fall due to the colours and harvests, and the start of the new academic year with all its excitement and promise. Following the news also reinforces my excitement with continuing the research project on vernacular architecture and the learning environments and putting the results in to my teaching practice.






(5) McDermott, M., Cobb, M., Dean, R., & Robbé, I.J. (2019). A novel method for analyzing communication in veterinary patient visits. Evaluating veterinary practitioner perceptions of communication skills and training. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, in press

Boyd, S., Gardiner, A., Phillips, C., Paterson, J., Brown, F.J.L., & Robbé, I.J. (2017). Foundations skills for veterinary medical research. In: Carnell, B. & Fung, D. (Eds.), Developing the higher education curriculum (pp. 75-88). London: UCL Press.

McDermott, M., Cobb, M., Tischler, V., Dean, R., & Robbé, I.J. (2017). Evaluating veterinary practitioner perceptions of communication skills and training. Veterinary Record doi 10.1136/vr.103997

Mossop, L., Gray, C., Blaxter, A., Gardiner, A., MacEachern, K., Watson, P., Whittlestone, K., &  Robbé, I.J. (2015). Communication skills training: what the vet schools are doing. Veterinary Record doi 10.1136/vr.h425

McDermott, M., Tischler, V., Cobb, M., Dean, R., & Robbé, I.J. (2015). Veterinarian-client communication skills: current state, relevance, and opportunities for improvement. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education doi 10.3138/jvme0115-006R


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About Iain Robbe

I am a medical practitioner (MB, BS, 1980; MRCS, LRCP, 1980) registered with the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom without a licence to practise. I am active as a Clinical Medical Educationist participating in a number of projects with the universities of St Mary's and Dalhousie in Nova Scotia and Mount Allison in New Brunswick, inter alia, and separately with three of the veterinary schools in the UK. My focus is on teaching and research in professionalism, ethics, and communications, and particularly the influences of vernacular architecture on the creation of positive learning experiences in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. I have the degree of Master in Public Health from the University of London (1985) and the degree of Master in Medical Education with distinction from the University of Wales (2001). The guiding principles in my practices are based on andragogy and humanism, and the prime ethical principle of autonomy for the individual and in population health.

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