School of Medical Education

Staff Profile

Professor Jan Illing

Prof of Medical Education Research


Jan Illing is Professor of Medical Education Research in the School of Medical Education. She moved with her research team from Durham University in July 2015. During her five years at Durham University she set up The Centre for Medical Education Research, became the Director of Research for the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health and in her final role was leading the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing.

She has a background in psychology and an MPhil and CQSW in Social Work from Newcastle University. She gained a PhD from Newcastle University in 1996 on social factors and clinical depression in women. In 1998, she moved into the field of medical education, and in 2000 was awarded a research fellowship from the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME).

Jan has worked extensively in the field of medical education and has worked, in formally contracted arrangements with the General Medical Council (GMC), the Health Professions Council, The National Clinical Assessment Service, The Royal College of General Practitioners, the Medical Schools Council, the National Institute for Health Research and The Department of Health, as well as organisations within the North East of England, such as Health Education North East. Jan and her team have undertaken a range of studies that have influenced national and local policy including the 2009 edition of the GMC's Tomorrow's Doctors.

Jan and her team have conducted research across a range of medical education themes including: medical transitions, professionalism, revalidation and workplace bullying in the NHS. In 2014, Jan was commissioned by the Department of Health to undertake a three year study on the Education Outcomes Framework, exploring how education and training is linked to patient benefit.  In 2015 she was also been commissioned by the Department of Health to explore the Health and Care Professions fitness to practise system. Jan has undertaken a series of national and international roles in the field of Medical Education and in 2015 she became a member of the GMC’s Assessment Advisory Board and a member of the Prescribing Safety Assessment Research Subgroup.

Jan is also a member of the International Editorial Board of the journal of Medical Education. 

Area of expertise

  • Research in: Medical Transitions (student to doctror, trainee to consultant, overseas qualified to UK)
  • Workplace Bullying (realist synthesis, prevalence studeis,  interventions and methods to measure)
  • How education and training of the healthcare team can lead to patient benefit (realist synthsis and model development)
  • Assessment (self assessment, appraisal, revalidation, PLAB and ARCP)
  • Learning in the commnuity (General Practice and Longitudinal Integerated Clerkships)