The Inaugural Psychology in Medical Education Symposium (PiMEDS)
- the Psychological Journey of the medical trainee

Date: Friday, 13 September 2019
Time: 9.30am-4.00pm 
Where: Kirby Institute, Level 6, UNSW Medicine, cnr High and Botany Streets, Kensington campus
Cost: UNSW staff no charge, non-UNSW staff $100  
Morning tea and lunch included

Register now

Students and junior doctors are expected to counsel and support patients, and face an arduous road in their training. Whether for entry to an undergraduate or graduate medical program, selection is a well-known and very considerable hurdle. Between four and six years of education follow prior to the award of a basic medical qualification, with a further period of up to ten years postgraduate training after that. Very significant barrier assessments are distributed throughout all levels of training. The academic rigours are often the focus of attention, such that in initial selection the historical view has been to select only the highest achieving students. Yet the psychological challenges are significant, and to date, under-represented in the discourse. The Psychology in Medical Education Symposium seeks to address this. Join us at UNSW Medicine where we invite you to be involved in shining a light on the full gamut of the psychological journey of medical trainees.

Symposium Themes

  1. Selection of medical students and trainees for psychological attributes. 
  2. Teaching and assessment (including simulation) of psychology-based-skills in medical programs.
  3. Medical student and junior doctor well-being and workplace relationships. 
  4. Psychology in medical education: aligning theory and language to inform approaches to education and research. 

 Keynote Speakers

Dr Gabriel Reedy, Kings College London

Dr Gabriel Reedy is a learning scientist and Reader in Clinical Education at King’s College London, where he is Programme Director for the Masters in Clinical Education. He is a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, as well as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators, where he sits on the Governing Council and Chairs the Education Committee. He is also a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, and sits on the Research Committee of the International Society for Simulation in Healthcare, and the Scientific Committee of the Society in Europe for Simulation as Applied to Medicine (SESAM). His research focuses on how interprofessional clinical teams work—and learn—as they care for patients.

“Analysing Team Behaviour in Healthcare”

We know that effective teamwork is critical to safe patient care across different healthcare settings. Checklists and other tools help us to get some purchase on aspects of teamwork, but what about the complex, nuanced, and situated ways in which teams interact over time in clinical interactions? These are difficult to capture, to explore, and to analyse. In this talk, I will present an observational teamwork behaviour framework, which is theoretically and empirically grounded, applicable across a variety of healthcare contexts, and which we think can be used to capture some of temporal aspects of team dynamics. I will also present some of the data we have gathered from using the tool with healthcare teams, and discuss some of the ways that this approach can help us think differently about how we train teams in healthcare.

Professor Jacky Cranney, Psychology, UNSW

Professor Jacky Cranney has successfully delivered useful outcomes to the tertiary sector, particularly through her work on learning outcomes and psychological literacy (the intentional application of psychological science to meet personal, professional and societal needs), educational models and accreditation standards, SoTL, and evidence-based self-management for all university students. Self-management is the capacity to effectively pursue valued goals, and to be flexible in the face of set-backs. Jacky is an OLT and UNSW Scientia Education Academy Fellow, and has received recognition at many levels for her dedication to improving the current and future value of higher education. 

“Curricular Approaches to Student Self-Management, Success and Wellbeing”

Levels of self-reported student distress are increasing, and there are two evidence-based approaches that academics can take to support student success and wellbeing. The first approach is to create a curricular environment that supports meeting students’ psychological needs for competence, relatedness and autonomy. This approach is derived from well supported psychological theory, and is consistent with the practice of well-informed educators. The second approach is to explicitly provide students with formal curricular opportunities to further develop their self-management skills (regarding, e.g., time-management and emotional regulation). Self-management is the capacity to effectively pursue meaningful goals, and to be flexible in the face of setbacks. If we see value in better preparing our students for their future, then both these approaches should be implemented. 

Invitation to present

Abstract Submission 

The themes for this year’s conference are the psychological journey and training of medical trainees which reflect the teaching elements of psychology in medical education. 

Symposium Themes

  1. Selection of medical students and trainees for psychological attributes
  2. Teaching and assessment (including simulation) of psychology-based-skills in medical programs 
  3. Medical student and junior doctor well-being and workplace relationships 
  4. Psychology in medical education: aligning theory and language to inform approaches to education and research

Presentation types

Oral presentation:  these will be delivered in parallel sessions.

Each presentation will be for 20 minutes:  presenters will talk for 15 minutes, followed by 5 minutes for questions and discussion.

Presentations covering theory, research and practice, including “lived experiences” (covering best and current practice) relevant to any of the streams are welcome. 

Abstract submission instructions

Word limit: 300 words maximum (excluding title and authors)

Abstracts must be free of typographical and grammatical errors.  Standard abbreviations may be used for common terms only. Otherwise, any abbreviation should be given in brackets after the first full use of the word.  Abbreviations may be used in the title, providing the name in full is outline in the body of the abstract. 

All abstracts must be original work.

An abstract must contain sufficient information about the presentation.  The text should not contain statements alluding to results or conclusions not presented in the text, or to be provided later. 

The presenting author will be required to register for the conference in order to present at the conference. 

There is no limit to the number of abstracts that may be submitted by an individual.  However, splitting of a body of work into multiple abstracts is discouraged.  


Paper title: Sentence case, Arial, font size 14. Bold

Authors: Authors names should be supplied in the surname – last name format.  Underline the presenting author.  Arial font size 11. 

Affiliation: Institutional affiliations should be indicated in superscript numbers following the author name. Arial font 11. Please provide author affiliations below author names.

Abstract body/Descriptive text: Sentence case, single spacing Arial font 11. The abstract body should include aims, methods, results and conclusion. 

Subheadings: Arial 11 point, Sentence case, bold. Leave one line between the end of each section and the next heading. 

Do not include references.

Do not include tables or diagrams

Abstracts should be submitted as a Microsoft Word file (.doc or .docx).  

The file must be saved with the presenting author name followed by the word abstract (eg Name abstract). If you submit more than one abstract you should add a number to the file name for each e.g AuthorAbstract1.

Submit via email to:

Key Dates

Authors will be notified of acceptance of the abstract by 23 June.

Organising and Scientific Committee

Dr Barbara-Ann Adelstein
Dr Arvin Damodaran
Dr Peter Harris
Dr Sean Kennedy
Professor Boaz Shulruf
Dr Silas Taylor
Dr Rachel Thompson


Ms Kiran Thwaites, PiMEDS2019 Co-ordinator


Phone: +61 (2) 9385-2550