Dr Thomas Gale

Dr Thomas Gale

Clinical Associate Professor in Clinical Skills

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences)


Director of Assessment
Director of Clinical Skills and Simulation
Programme Lead, Masters in Simulation and Patient Safety



Professional membership

Royal College of Anaesthetists
Association for the Study of Medical Education
Association for Simulated Practitioners in Healthcare
Society for Simulation in Healthcare

Roles on external bodies

Member, Recruitment Committee, Royal College of Anaesthetists
Council member of European Board of Medical Assessors
Member of Quality Group for Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection, Health Education England

Other research

Recent/ongoing research

2014 – date                            
Evaluation of Immersive Simulation as training tool for Healthcare workers in West Africa – Principle investigator and Lead for evaluation

Immersive Simulation modules developed as collaborative project between Mentor, Masanga UK and Peninsula Medical School. Grant recently awarded by Mentor and Telegraph Charities Appeal. Evaluation will involve assessment of knowledge, skills and confidence gained for use of Personal Protective Equipment plus challenges of successful implementation in West Africa. Pilot sites also being identified in UK and US for in depth analysis of learner engagement, recall and retention of immerse learning format compared to traditional methods.

2014 – date                            
Systematic review of the National licensing exam literature – co-investigator

Awarded General Medical Council grant to perform a systematic review of evidence for reliability and validity of national licensing medical examinations in the international literature. This will help to inform GMC policy for further development of National licensing examinations in the UK. 

2014 – date                            
Development and evaluation of the Multiple Mini Interview for selection of undergraduate nursing students – co-investigator

Established collaboration with Queens University Belfast, to use methodology developed in Plymouth to develop and evaluate innovative method for selection of nursing students.

2013 – date                            
Transforming Undergraduate Learning with Interprofessional Simulation – Project Lead

Awarded £56,550 through Teaching Development Grant with the Higher Education Academy. Joint project with Faculty of Health at Plymouth University to develop evidence based debriefing methods for team based simulation for final year medical and nursing students. 136 students recruited to study. Methods adopted in 4 neighbouring institutions.   

2012 – date                            
NIHR portfolio study to evaluate predictive validity of selection centre scores of applicants to anaesthesia training with subsequent success in professional examinations – Principal investigator

170 applicants recruited (recruitment complete – in follow-up)

2012 – 2014                           
The Effect of Simulation Based Arterial Line Insertion Training on the Performance of Novice Anaesthetists

Supervisor for Tim Starkie – Masters in Clinical Education student.

Randomised controlled trial to investigate the effect of simulation training on subsequent proficiency at aterial line insertion in clinical practice.

2013 – date                            
A Quality Improvement Project: Can Regular Debriefing Improve Safety and Efficiency in Obstetric Theatres?

Supervisor for Gemma Crossingham- Masters in Clinical Education student.

Mixed methods study to implement and evaluate debriefing for elective and emergency obstetric cases.

2012 – date                            
Simulation and assessment of dental extraction proficiency

Co-supervisor for Nigel Honey – PhD student

Evaluation of training needs in exodontia amongst Foundation Programme dentists. Defining simulation curriculum by expert consensus and evaluating a range of simulation modalities for for use in training exodontia.

PEDRIO grant (Plymouth University) amount awarded: £8,171

2009 – 2011                           
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Selection Pilot.

Lead for delivery and evaluation of Situational Judgment Test.

National pilot of machine marked tests for recruitment to all specialties during ST1 recruitment in 2010. 351 applicants completed the test in 21 driving test centres across the UK over 2 consecutive days. Test statistics showed good reliability (Cronbach’s alpha=0.84) and 82% of items were successful (item partial >0.2). Good evidence of construct validity was established in relation to shortlisting and interview scores.

Ongoing work with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to tailor test for potential pilot in this specialty for 2012 / 13.

2009 – 2013                           
Critical incident algorithms for use in training novice anaesthetists.  SW School of Anaesthesia. Chief investigator.

Delphi analysis performed to achieve expert consensus of anaesthetists in the Peninsula for an algorithm to train crisis management to novice anaesthetists. 

Subsequent randomised controlled trial comparing 2 different critical incident algorithms in novice anaesthetists starting training in the SW School of Anaesthesia. Performance of both algorithms assessed using video rating of simulated performance. Recruitment complete and analyses underway.

Project written up as dissertation towards Masters in Clinical Education through the Graduate School of PCMD (provisional mark 86%). 

2008 – 2013                           
Acute Specialties Selection Pilot; Principle Investigator.

SW Peninsula Deanery.                    

Development and evaluation of shortlisting and interview methods for recruitment to acute specialties training programmes with longitudinal follow-up. Pilot extended to 3 Deaneries in 2009 and 8 Deaneries across England in 2010.

Department of Health grants awarded for pilot:

February 2008 £75,035

November 2008 £126,500

December 2008 £16,635

July 2009 £55,519

Included in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Portfolio; December 2010.

Results have been used to inform best practice in developing a national model for recruitment to anaesthesia and ACCS in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The national process has standardised and streamlined interview methods across the UK which involves three stations with two independent raters in each station. Scoring matrices (assessing non-technical skills of applicants) which were developed from the pilot are incorporated and an on-line assessor training tool has been developed for all interviewers involved in national selection for Anaesthesia and ACCS.

Key publications are highlighted

Wooding E, Gale T & Maynard V 2019 'Evaluation of teamwork assessment tools for interprofessional simulation: a systematic review' Journal of Interprofessional Care , DOI PEARL
Aslet M, Paton L, Gale T & Tiffin P 2019 'Evaluating the recruitment process into UK anaesthesia core training: doctors’ performance at selection and subsequent postgraduate training- a national data linkage study' Postgraduate Medical Journal , DOI PEARL
Lambe P, Gale T, Price T & Roberts M 2019 'Sociodemographic and educational characteristics of doctors applying for psychiatry training in the UK: secondary analysis of data from the UK Medical Education Database project' BJPsych Bulletin , DOI PEARL
Endacott R, Gale T, O'Connor A & Dix S 2018 'Frameworks and quality measures used for debriefing in team-based simulation: a systematic review' BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning , DOI PEARL
Price TJ, Lynn N, Coombes L, Roberts M, Gale T, Regan de Bere S & Archer J 2018 'The International Landscape of Medical Licensing Examinations: A Typology Derived From a Systematic Review' International Journal of Health Policy and Management , DOI PEARL
Field VK, Gale T, Kalkman C, Kato P & Ward CT 2018 'A serious game to train patient safety outside the classroom: a pilot study of acceptability' BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning 5, (4) 227-228 , DOI
Gale TCE, Lambe PJ & Roberts MJ 2017 'Factors associated with junior doctors’decisions to apply for general practicetraining programmes in the UK: secondaryanalysis of data from the UKMED project' BMC Medicine , DOI PEARL
Burr SA, Salih VM, Gale T, Moles D, Vallance T & Bristow D 2017 'Making progression and award decisions' MedEdPublish 6, (4:31) 1-7 , DOI PEARL
Traynor M, Galanouli D, Roberts M, Leonard L & Gale T 2016 'Identifying applicants suitable to a career in nursing: a value-based approach to undergraduate selection' Journal of Advanced Nursing , DOI PEARL
Archer J, Lynn N, Coombes L, Roberts M, Gale T, Price T & Regan de Bere S 2016 'The impact of large scale licensing examinations in highly developed countries: a systematic review' BMC Medical Education 16, (1) , DOI PEARL
Roberts MJ, Gale TCE, McGrath JS & Wilson MR 2016 'Rising to the challenge: acute stress appraisals and selection centre performance in applicants to postgraduate specialty training in anaesthesia' ADVANCES IN HEALTH SCIENCES EDUCATION 21, (2) 323-339 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Archer J, Lynn N, Coombes L, Roberts M, Gale T & Regan de Bere S 2016 'The medical licensing examination debate' Regulation & Governance , DOI PEARL
Gale TCE, Chatterjee A, Mellor NE & Allan RJ 2016 'Health Worker Focused Distributed Simulation for Improving Capability of Health Systems in Liberia' Simulation in Healthcare: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare 11, (2) 75-81 , DOI PEARL
Hinde T, Gale T, Anderson I, Roberts M & Sice P 2016 'A study to assess the influence of interprofessional point of care simulation training on safety culture in the operating theatre environment of a university teaching hospital' Journal of Interprofessional Care 30, (2) 251-253 , DOI
Mellor N, Horton H, Luke D, Meadows J, Chatterjee A & Gale T 2016 'Experience of Using Simulation Technology and Analytics During the Ebola Crisis to Empower Frontline Health Workers and Improve the Integrity of Public Health Systems' Procedia Engineering 159, 44-52 Publisher Site , DOI
Hill MR, Roberts MJ, Alderson ML & Gale TCE 2015 'Safety culture and the 5 steps to safer surgery: an intervention study' British Journal of Anaesthesia 114, (6) 958-962 , DOI
Roberts MJ, Gale TCE, Sice PJA & Anderson IR 2013 'The relative reliability of actively participating and passively observing raters in a simulation-based assessment for selection to specialty training in anaesthesia' Anaesthesia 68, (6) 591-599 Author Site , DOI
Mahadevan D, Walter RP, Minto G, Gale TC, McAllen CJ & Oldman M 2012 'Combined Femoral and Sciatic Nerve Block vs Combined Femoral and Periarticular Infiltration in Total Knee Arthroplasty' The Journal of Arthroplasty 27, (10) 1806-1811 , DOI
Crossingham GV, Sice PJA, Roberts MJ, Lam WH & Gale TCE 2012 'Development of workplace-based assessments of non-technical skills in anaesthesia*' Anaesthesia 67, (2) 158-164 , DOI
Crossingham G, Gale T, Roberts M, Carr A, Langton J & Anderson I 2011 'Content validity of a clinical problem solving test for use in recruitment to the acute specialties' Clin Med (Lond) 11, (1) 23-25 Author Site , DOI
Gale TCE, Roberts MJ, Sice PJ, Langton JA, Patterson FC, Carr AS, Anderson IR, Lam WH & Davies PRF 2011 'Reply from the authors † †© Crown copyright [2011]' British Journal of Anaesthesia 106, (2) 277-278 , DOI
Gale TCE, Roberts MJ, Sice PJ, Langton JA, Patterson FC, Carr AS, Anderson IR, Lam WH & Davies PRF 2010 'Predictive validity of a selection centre testing non-technical skills for recruitment to training in anaesthesia' Br J Anaesth 105, (5) 603-609 Author Site , DOI
Gale T & Leslie K 2004 'Anaesthesia for neurosurgery in the sitting position' Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 11, (7) 693-696 , DOI
Gale T & Roberts M 2019 'Learner-centred assessment' in forrest K; McKimm J Healthcare Simulation at a Glance Croydon WILEY 58-59
Gale T 2019 'Principles of Assessment' in Forrest K; McKimm J Healthcare Simulation at a Glance Croydon WILEY 56-57
Gale T & Roberts M 2019 'Recruitment and Selection' in Forrest K; McKimm J Healthcare Simulation at a Glance Croydon WILEY
Gale T & Roberts M 2013 'Assessment' Essential Simulation in Clinical Education John Wiley & Sons, Ltd 59-86 , DOI
Gale T & Langton J 2007 'Day Case Anaesthesia' in Aitkenhead A; Smith G; Rowbotham D Textbook of Anaesthesia Edinburgh Churchill Livingstone 533-539
Conference Papers
Craft Z, Franklin D & Gale T 2020 'How does compliance with TeamGAINS affect the quality of debriefing for undergraduate inter-professional simulation?' European Resuscitation Council Congress , DOI
Craft Z, Franklin D, Smith S, Roberts M, Endacott R & Gale T 2015 'How does a structured debriefing framework affect the quality of debriefing process for undergraduate interprofessional simulation?' Association for Simulated Practitioners in Healthcare Annual Conference , DOI
Crossingham G, Gale T, Berrisford R, Roberts M & Hill M 2015 'Captured debriefing after elective and specific emergencies in obstetric theatre can address latent threats and safety issues and improves the safety culture' 86-86
Lewis J, Hill M & Gale T 2010 'A national survey of syringe swap anaesthetic drug errors' 1248-1249
Holmes K, Alderson L, Bratanow S & Gale T 2010 'The WHO checklist - not just a tickbox exercise' 1246-1247
Ladele A, McEwen A & Gale T 2010 'A comparison of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in elective and emergency patients for major abdominal surgery' Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health) 30-30 , DOI
Squires P, McEwen A, Oldman M & Gale T 2010 'Effect of WHO checklist implementation on the quality of post-operative prescribing in orthopaedic surgery' Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health) 232-232 , DOI
Anderson I, Gale T, Roberts M, Patterson F, Carr A, Carr V, Crossingham G, Davies P, Lam H & Sice P 2010 'A machine-marked test for recruitment to anaesthesia and acute care common stem core training programmes in the south west of England' 528-528
Crossingham G, Sice P, Roberts M, Gale T, Lam H, Anderson I, Carr A, Davies P & Langton J 2010 'Improving work place assessments in anaesthesia' Wiley 100-101 , DOI
Crossingham G, Gale T, Roberts M, Lam H, Sice P, Davies P, Anderson I, Carr A & Langton J 2009 'Validation of a six station OSCE style selection centre model for recruitment to anaesthesia in the South West Peninsula deanery' 317-317
Guest T, Schonborn L, Hinde T & Gale T 2009 'Survey of knowledge and attitudes regarding peri-operative management of patients with pacemakers, ICDs, or requiring emergency external pacing' Wiley 795-796 , DOI
Adams D, Sice P, Anderson I, Gale T, Lam H, Langton J, Davies P & Carr A 2009 'Validation of simulation for recruitment to training posts in anaesthesia' Wiley 805-806 , DOI
Langford R, Gale TCE & Mayor AH 2007 'Anaesthetic machine checking guidelines: have we improved our practice?' 1050-1056 , DOI
Langford RA, Gale TCE & Mayor AH 2006 'Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland machine check guidelines: have we improved our practice?' 87-88
Gale T, Leslie K & Kluger M 2001 'Propofol Anaesthesia via Target Controlled Infusion or Manually Controlled Infusion: Effects on the Bispectral Index as a Measure of Anaesthetic Depth' SAGE Publications 579-584 , DOI
Archer J, Regan de Bere S & Gale T 2015 A literature review on the impact of licensing examinations for doctors in countries comparable to the UK. General Medical Council General Medical Council Publisher Site