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Leading cancer expert appointed Dean of Medicine

*Picture caption – Dr Hugh MacDougall*

One of Scotland’s leading cancer experts has been given the task of transforming the University of St Andrews’ contribution to medical education.

Dr Hugh MacDougall (52), who will take up the post of Bute Professor and Dean of Medicine on 1 October 2002, aims to combine his significant clinical, research, teaching and management experience to give creative leadership to the University’s current and future medical teaching and research programmes.

Medicine has been taught at St Andrews since mediaeval times. The University currently offers a three-year general and four-year honours BSc degree in Medical Science as part of a long- established, joint BSc/MBChB course which is completed at the University of Manchester.

Dr MacDougall hopes to maintain the longstanding reputation of the distinctive St Andrews medical education while improving clinical interaction for students. He also hopes to enhance medical research opportunities for young doctors by providing clinical research fellowships in the highly rated research facilities at St Andrews. A new medical teaching building is also envisaged to provide a state of the art learning environment for students.

Dr MacDougall, an alumnus and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of St Andrews, is currently Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Edinburgh Cancer Centre, Lothian University Hospitals NHS Trust. His main interests are in head and neck cancer, sarcomas and skin tumours. He was Clinical Director of the Edinburgh Cancer Centre from 1991- 1999 and was responsible for the complete rebuilding of the world class cancer treatment facilities at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital. He is also Adviser to the Chief Medical Officer in Scotland on Clinical Oncology and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to being Consultant in Edinburgh, Dr MacDougall was Consultant Radiotherapist/ Oncologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Tayside Health Board and the University of Dundee (1982- 86).

Dr MacDougall said, “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to contribute to the education of doctors for the 21st century. The University of St Andrews continues to provide a unique opportunity for aspiring doctors within the stimulating academic environment of highly rated science and arts faculties. This new post of Dean of Medicine is a clear signal that the University wishes to respond to the task of maintaining excellence in medical education for the increasing demands of the medical profession.”

Dr MacDougall’s appointment coincides with the re-instatement of the Faculty of Medicine and of the St Andrews MD degree which was relinquished in 1966 as part of the process of establishing a separate Medical School at the University of Dundee.

The new degree will provide opportunities for medically qualified candidates to undertake research projects, lasting at least two years, in association with St Andrews scientists and making use of the University’s extensive state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. Medical research leading to submission of a thesis for the MD degree will further strengthen the established ties between the University of St Andrews and the NHS, in Fife and beyond.

In order to be re-instated, the MD Bill has been introduced in the Scottish Parliament, passed scrutiny by the appropriate committee and, it is hoped, will complete its passage through Parliament by the Autumn with the University’s first batch of MD students in over 35 years enrolling during 2003. While they will not have a formal teaching role, their involvement in the life of the Medical School will be a stimulus to the undergraduates who choose St Andrews because of its emphasis on the scientific basis of medicine.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS – Emailable photograph of Dr MacDougall available from Claire Grainger – contact details below.

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: dean of medicine/standrews/chg/10june2002

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