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Public Health Educators in Medical Schools

The Public Health Educators in Medical Schools (PHEMS) Special Interest Group (SIG) is a forum for public health professionals to:

  • Enhance public health education for medical students in the UK;
  • Provide peer support and share good practice with public health educators in UK medical schools; and
  • Engage with external organisations such as the General Medical Council and the Medical Schools Council, on public health curriculum, teaching and assessment etc in medical schools.

We organise events twice yearly to support the development of public health in the undergraduate medical curriculum, which are listed in the main FPH events calendar.

Undergraduate curricula

The PHEMS SIG has been directly involved in the latest version of the General Medical Council’s Outcomes for Graduates (2018). The group have also authored a curriculum guide for undergraduate medical education.

PHEMS SIG also supports and endorses the new undergraduate curriculum for Sustainable Healthcare (2022),  and the Behavioural and Social Sciences Teaching in Medical Schools (BeSST) group’s curricula for Psychology and Sociology in medical schools.


The PHEMS SIG reports to the Faculty's Academic Research Committee and is co-chaired by Dr Bharathy Kumaravel, Associate Professor of Public Health, Leicester Medical School: and Dr Ellie Hothersall, Head of MBChB, Dundee Medical School:

Join the PHEMS SIG

An invitation is extended to all:

  • Public Health Academics in Medical Schools; and
  • Public Health Specialists, Public Health Registrars, FPH members interested in undergraduate public health teaching.

FPH members can join this SIG by logging into their FPH members’ portal account, selecting the ‘Committees/SIGs’ button and choosing the correct SIG. You will then be asked to provide a few details, following which your application will be automatically approved. Further details on FPH membership are available here.

Webinar Recordings

Past events

  • Integrating planetary health into undergraduate medical curricula and assessment (June 2022)
  • Undergraduate assessment workshop (November 2021)
  • Planetary Health and Public Health Curricula in Medical Schools (June 2019)
  • Threshold concepts, troublesome knowledge and the hidden curriculum - implications for public health teaching and learning (July 2018)
  • Looking to the Future: Developments in Public Health Education & Training (July 2017)
  • Contemporary Public Health: Recognising Teaching Excellence (June 2016)

Past workshops

Recent Publications

Shah D, Blythe J Using community diagnosis on primary care placements for medical students, Education for Primary Care, 2022, 33:2, 109-112, DOI: 10.1080/14739879.2021.1955624

Rodrigues, V, Hothersall E, Davies, D. Public Health Education in Medical Schools – The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic Journal of Medical Education Research, 1:1, DOI: 10.5750/jmer.v1i1.1926

Hothersall E, Rodrigues V, Morris G, McLachlan JC and McAleer S. Making it fit: Examining the Assessment of Contextual Knowledge and Understanding in the Positivist Assessment Modality of Medical Education. Proceedings of EduLearn20, the 12th International Conference (virtual) on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 2020; DOI: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.0780.

Kumaravel, B., Jenkins, H., Chepkin, S. et al. A prospective study evaluating the integration of a multifaceted evidence-based medicine curriculum into early years in an undergraduate medical school. BMC Med Educ 20, 278 (2020). DOI: 10.1186/s12909-020-02140-2

Kumaravel, B., Hearn, J.H., Jahangiri, L. et al. A systematic review and taxonomy of tools for evaluating evidence-based medicine teaching in medical education. SystRev 9, 91 (2020). Available at: DOI: 10.1186/s13643-020-01311-y

Neve H, Hothersall E and Rodrigues V. Exploring Threshold Concepts in Population Health. The Clinical Teacher, 2019; 17 (3): 292-7. 

PHEMS. Revised Undergraduate Public Health Curriculum for UK medical Schools: A Consensus Statement, London: FPH, 2019.

Vyas A, Rodrigues V, Ayres R, Myles Puja, Hothersall E and Thomas H. Public health matters: innovative approaches for  engaging medical students. Medical Teacher, 2017; 39 (4):402-8. DOI: 10.1080/0142159X.2017.1294753

Sheringham J, Lyon A, Jones A, Strobl J and Barratt H. Increasing medical students' engagement in public health: case studies illustrating the potential role of online learning, Journal of Public Health; 2016; 38 (3):e316–e324, DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv140

Gillam S, Rodrigues V and Myles P. Public health education in UK medical schools – towards consensus. J Public Health, 2015; 38 (3) 522-525; DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv069

Become a Member

Become a Member

FPH is the professional home for public health in the UK and abroad. We support over 5,000 members across all career stages enabling them to drive the profession forward and achieve our vision of improving public health.

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