Professor Thomas Gale

Professor Thomas Gale

Professor of Medical Education

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)



Clinical Professor and Consultant Anaesthetist
Director of Assessment (Medicine and Dentistry)
Director of Collaboration for the Advancement of Medical Education Research and Assessment
Joint Programme lead, MSc Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety


BMedSci, BM BS, FRCA, MClinEd
Principal Fellow of Higher Education Academy (2017)
Teaching Fellowship Award, University of Plymouth (2017 & 2012)
International Teaching Innovation Award, Association for Medical Education in Europe (2016)
Harvard Macy Scholar - Leading innovations in healthcare and education (2014)
President’s Commendation, Royal College of Anaesthetists (2013)

Professional membership

Royal College of Anaesthetists
European Board of Medical Assessors 

Roles on external bodies

Chair, Recruitment Committee, Royal College of Anaesthetists
Executive Board member, European Board of Medical Assessors
Member of Quality & Standards Group, Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection, Health Education England
Member of Curriculum Review Group, Royal College of Anaesthetists



Teaching interests

Clinical skills & simulation

Joint Programme Lead MSc Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety 2018 – date

Director of Clinical Skills & Simulation (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry) 2013 – 18 

Module lead for Clinical Skills (PCMD) 2011 – 18 

Programme Lead, MSc Simulation and Patient Safety 2013 – 17


Director of Assessment (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry) 2013 – date 

Curriculum review committee, Royal College of Anaesthetists 2019 – date 

Chair of BMBS Programme Award Board 2014 – 18 

Chair of Medical School Teaching Learning and Quality Committee 2015 – 17

Chair of IT assessment integration group (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry) 2015 – 17

Chair of Faculty Assessment Working Group 2014 – 15,  2018 – 19  & Deputy Chair 2017 – 18

Academic tutor, educational supervisor, clinical supervisor

Staff serving as external examiners

Lead for quality assessment and external review of national selection centres for recruitment to anaesthetic training posts in the UK



Research interests

As Director of the Collaboration for Medical Education Research & Assessment (CAMERA), I lead a programme of research investigating factors promoting the development, recruitment and retention of a sustainable healthcare workforce. This work is closely aligned with the strategy for the Plymouth Institute for Health Research (PIHR) where educational research is a core element of the PIHR Community - to support the development of our health and care workforce with research that covers educational delivery and preparedness for practice, recruitment, revalidation, and resilience. 

My current research and recently completed studies include:

Unlocking the potential of fitness to practise data.

General Dental Council £151,711, August 2020-January 2022.

Co-investigator (Marie Bryce PI). Mixed methods study to investigate how the GDC as a regulator can learn from trends in fitness to practice data and refine coding systems for the collection of this data. Additional aim to explore and inform future GDC policies on the future use of upstream regulation in particular FTP referrals that can be dealt with at regional level.

Preparedness of recent medical graduates to meet anticipated healthcare needs

General Medical Council £94,779 August 2020 - June 2021

Principal Investigator. Systematic review and qualitative analysis of three important themes related to preparedness for practice of Foundation Doctors; the Changing Doctor-Patient relationship, Multidisciplinary teamworking and Complex clinical judgement. 

Unanticipated practice – the experience of Interim Foundation Programme doctors during the COVID-19 crisis

General Medical Council £55,320 June 2020 - February 2021

Co-investigator (PI Bryan Burford, Newcastle University).

Mixed methods study to evaluate how experience of new graduates as Interim Foundation Doctors has effected preparedness for practice and measures of well-being during the COVID pandemic through series of quantitative surveys and qualitative analysis of interview data.

Drivers of International Migration of Doctors to and from the United Kingdom

General Medical Council £48,236 December 2019 – August 2020

Co-investigator (PI Nicola Brennan). Mixed methods study involving systematic review, qualitative interviews and quantitative analysis to investigate patterns of migration of doctors to and from the UK. 

The concept of seriousness in fitness to practice cases

General Dental Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council £124,675 December 2019 – May 2021

Co-Principal Investigator with Marie Bryce. In depth qualitative analysis using primary and secondary data of Fitness to Practice cases across 6 regulatory bodies to investigate commonalities and differences regarding the classification of seriousness and decisions on sanctions. 

Review and mapping of basic dental training in EU member states

General Dental Council £21,026, September 2019 – February 2020

Principal Investigator. Systematic review, website searches and qualitative survey of dental regulators to compare graduate outcomes and quality assurance standards of basic dental training in EU member states. 

Remediating doctors' performance to restore patient safety: A realist review.

NIHR HS&DR 16/06/04 Awarded £200,697.92, April 2018-February 2020

Appointed by NIHR to provide mentorship and support to Nicola Brennan as PI. Realist review investigating what medical education remediation interventions work for whom, when and in what contexts. Development of Programme Theory for Remediation of Doctors.

Online adaptive international progress test. 

Erasmus Plus, Awarded €332,720.00, September 2018 – August 2021

I am co-applicant and lead for Plymouth contribution to study. Maastricht lead partner (van der Vleuten). Development and evaluation of online adaptive progress testing for medical students across 8 European institutions. Plymouth contribution (with Steven Burr, Jolanta Kisielewska) has successfully developed 250 items for the test, reviewed all items developed by Jagellonian University (Poland), and recruited more than 150 students to the study. Plymouth team is lead partner responsible for study publication strategy. 

Research groups

Other research

I have led multiple recent projects analysing the UKMED database from 2016 – 19 to investigate:

  • UKMED P30 (Principal Investgator) Socio-demographic and educational Factors associated with applications to GP, Psychiatry and Anaesthesia specialty training
  • UKMED P32 (Principal Investgator) Factors associated with successful completion of core training in medicine and anaesthesia and subsequent entry to higher specialty training 
  • UKMED P41 (Co-investigator, PI Paul Lambe) Indicators which are reliable markers for widening participation. 

2015 – 17: PI for collaborative research study with The Mentor Initiative (NGO) to develop and evaluate distributed simulation modules for healthcare workers responding to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. This research was extended to Sierra Leone through a further funding bid, from the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) to help protect healthcare workers and the public from the threats of person to person transmisison.  

2015 Co-applicant and co-investigator for GMC commissioned systematic review on international evidence for national licensing assessments. 

2014 – 16. I set up collaborative study with Queens University Belfast to develop and evaluate the multiple mini-interview (MMI) for undergraduate nursing recruitment and to correlate interview scores with end of year results for the nursing programme. 

From 2008 – 2014 I led a Department of Health funded pilot project to develop and evaluate selection methods to acute specialties training programmes in the South West. Methods were adopted for national selection processes in Anaesthesia, ACCS and Intensive Care Medicine. 

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Thuraya Kattan, PhD in Medical Studies. Exploring the Validity of Multimedia Written Assessment in Saudi Arabia. Completed November 2019

Rebecca Baines, PhD in Clinical Education. Can the value and acceptability of a patient feedback tool for revalidating psychiatrists be improved for patients and psychiatrists through its co-production? An action research approach. Completed October 2020

7 students completed masters level dissertations - MClinEd Clinical Education 

6 students completed masters level dissertations - MSc Simulation and Patient Safety

Grants & contracts

Aug 20 - Jan 22

Unlocking the potential of fitness to practise data

PI Marie Bryce, Thomas Gale, Sally Hanks, Tim O’Brien, Daniel Zahra

Funding: General Dental Council


May 20 - April 21

Unanticipated practice – the experience of Interim Foundation Programme doctors during the COVID-19 crisis

PI Bryan Burford, Gillian Vance, Thomas Gale, Karen Mattick, Nicola Brennan

Funding: General Medical Council


July 20 – June 21

Preparedness of recent medical graduates to meet anticipated healthcare needs

PI Thomas Gale, Nicola Brennan, James Read, Hisham Khalil, Karen Mattick, Lorna Burns

Funding: General Medical Council


December 19 – May 21 
The concept of seriousness in fitness to practice cases
Co-PI Thomas Gale, Co-PI Marie Bryce, Ruth Endacott, Tim O’Brien, Oliver Quick, Tristan Price
Funding: General Dental Council and Nursing & Midwifery Council

December 19 – May 20
Drivers of International Migration of Doctors to and from the United Kingdom
PI Nicola Brennan, Marie Bryce, Niamh Humphries, Andy Knapton, Thomas Gale
Funding: General Medical Council

October 19 – March 20
Review and mapping of basic dental training in EU member states
PI Thomas Gale, Marie Bryce, Sally Hanks, Daniel Zahra, Lorna Burns
Funding: General Dental Council

September 18 – September 21
Online Adaptive International Progress Test
PI van der Vleuten C, van Apeldoorn J, Pêgo J, Freeman A, Gale T, Janczukowicz J, Nowakowski M, Merenmies J
Funding: Erasmus+

April 18 – April 20
Remediating doctors’ performance to restore patient safety: A realist review
PI Nicola Brennan, Geoff Wong, Jen Cleland, Julian Archer, Thomas Gale
Funding: NIHR

March 17 – September 18
Exploring the impact of patient involvement in the teaching and assessment of vaginal examination skills
Rebecca Baines, Sam Regan de Bere, Thomas Gale
Funding: PEDRIO

March 17 – September 18
A Systematic Review of Medical Semiology
John Tredinnick- Rowe, Sam Regan de Bere, Thomas Gale
Funding: PEDRIO

March 17 – August 18
What factors predict doctors' successful completion of core training in medicine and anaesthetics and their subsequent decisions to pursue higher specialty training?
PI Thomas Gale, Paul Lambe, Martin Roberts
Funding: Health Education England

February 16 – June 18
Development and evaluation of technology enhanced training programme for peripheral intravenous cannulation
Project lead Thomas Gale, Robert Johnson, Arunangsu Chatterjee
Funding: Becton Dickinson (UoPEL commercial contract)

September 15 – April 17
Building capacity and sustainability within Sierra Leonean Health Service to improve resilience to future outbreaks of Viral Haemorrhagic fever
PI Thomas Gale, Arunangsu Chatterjee, Austin Hunt
Funding: Tropical Health Education Trust

September 14 – June 15
A Systematic Review on the impact of licensing examinations for doctors in countries comparable to the UK
PI Julian Archer, Sam Regan de Bere, Thomas Gale
Funding: General Medical Council

December 14 – January 16
Evaluation of Immersive Simulation as training tool for Healthcare workers in West Africa
PI Thomas Gale, Austin Hunt, Arunangsu Chatterjee
Funding: Telegraph Charities Appeal – Masanga Mentor Ebola Initiative

June 13 – March 15
Transforming undergraduate learning through interprofessional simulation
PI Thomas Gale, Ruth Endacott, Julian Archer
Funding: Higher Education Academy

2008 – 2013
Development and evaluation of shortlisting and interview methods for acute specialties training programmes
PI Thomas Gale, Alison Carr, Jeremy Langton
Funding: Department of Health



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Hanks S, Neve H & Gale T (2021) 'Preparing Health Profession Students for Practice in Complex Real World Settings: How Do Educators Respond to a Model of Capability?' International Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care 9, (1) 50-63 , DOI Open access
Price T, Brennan N, Wong G, Withers L, Cleland J, Wanner A, Gale T, Prescott-Clements L, Archer J & Bryce M (2021) 'Remediation programmes for practising doctors to restore patient safety: the RESTORE realist review' Health Services and Delivery Research 9, (11) 1-116 , DOI Open access
Price T, Wong G, Withers L, Wanner A, Cleland J, Gale T, Prescott-Clements L, Archer J, Bryce M & Brennan N (2021) 'Optimising the delivery of remediation programmes for doctors: A realist review' Medical Education , DOI Open access
Carter H, Hanks S & Gale T (2020) 'A qualitative study using hybrid simulation to explore the impacts of human factors e-learning on behaviour change' Advances in Simulation 5, (1) , DOI Open access
Wooding E, Gale T & Maynard V (2019) 'Evaluation of teamwork assessment tools for interprofessional simulation: a systematic review' Journal of Interprofessional Care , DOI Open access
Aslet M, Paton L, Gale T & Tiffin P (2019) 'Evaluating the recruitment process into UK anaesthesia core training: a national data linkage study of doctors’ performance at selection and subsequent postgraduate training' Postgraduate Medical Journal , DOI Open access
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 Open access
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 Open access
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 Open access
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 practice training programmes in the UK: Secondary analysis of data from the UKMED project' BMC Medicine 0-0 , DOI Open access
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 Open access
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 Open access
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 Open access
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 Open access
Archer J, Lynn N, Coombes L, Roberts M, Gale T & Regan de Bere S (2016) 'The medical licensing examination debate' Regulation & Governance , DOI Open access
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 Open access
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 Open access
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 Author Site , DOI
Gale TCE, Roberts MJ, Sice PJ, Langton JA, Patterson FC, Carr AS, Anderson IR, Lam WH & Davies PRF (2011) 'Non-technical skills and recruitment of anaesthesia trainees Reply' BRITISH JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIA 106, (2) 277-278 Author Site , 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 (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 TC, White JA & Welty TK (1998) 'Differences in detection of alcohol use in a prenatal population (on a Northern Plains Indian Reservation) using various methods of ascertainment' S D J Med 51, (7) 235-240 Author Site
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
Gale T, Bryce M, Burns L, Hanks S & Zahra D (2021) Review and mapping of basic dental training in EU member states: final report. General Dental Council Publisher Site
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


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