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, Masters in Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety


BMedSci, BM BS, FRCA, MClinEd

Principal Fellow of Higher Education Academy (2017)
Teaching Fellowship Award, Plymouth University (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 Masters in 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, Masters in Simulation & Patient Safety 2013 – 17


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

Curriculum review committee, Royal College of Anaesthetists 2019 – date
Chair of BM BS 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:

Preparedness of recent medical graduates to meet anticipated healthcare needs

General Medical Council £94,779 August 2020 - March 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. 

2020 Medical graduate project

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

Co-investigator (PI Bryan Burford, Newcastle University). Mixed methods study to investigate experience and well-being of recent graduates taking up Interim Foundation Doctor posts during the COVID pandemic and how this experience has effected their preparedness for Foundation posts.  

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 70 students to the study. Plymouth team is lead partner responsible for study publication strategy.

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. 


November 2019

5 students completed Masters level dissertations in Masters in Clinical Education 
6 students completed Masters level dissertations in Masters in Simulation and Patient Safety

Grants & contracts


Award holder(s)

Funding body



Dec 19 – May 21

Co-PI Thomas Gale, Co-PI Marie Bryce, Ruth Endacott, Tim O’Brien, Oliver Quick, Tristan Price

General Dental Council and Nursing & Midwifery Council

The concept of seriousness in fitness to practice cases.


Dec 19 – May 20

PI Nicola Brennan, Marie Bryce, Niamh Humphries, Andy Knapton, Thomas Gale

General Medical Council

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


Oct 19 – March 20

PI Thomas Gale, Marie Bryce, Sally Hanks, Daniel Zahra, Lorna Burns

General Dental Council

Review and mapping of basic dental training in EU member states.


Sep 18 – Sep 21

PI van der Vleuten C, van Apeldoorn J, Pêgo J, Freeman A, Gale T, Janczukowicz J, Nowakowski M, Merenmies J


Online Adaptive International Progress Test


Apr 18 – Apr 20

PI Nicola Brennan, Geoff Wong, Jen Cleland, Julian Archer, Thomas Gale


“Remediating doctors’ performance to restore patient safety: A realist review”.


 March 17 – Sep 18

Rebecca Baines, Sam Regan de Bere, Thomas Gale


Exploring the impact of patient involvement in the teaching and assessment of vaginal examination skills


March 17 – Sep 18

John Tredinnick- Rowe, Sam Regan de Bere, Thomas Gale


A Systematic Review of Medical Semiology


March 17 – Aug 18

PI Thomas Gale, Paul Lambe, Martin Roberts

Health Education England

What factors predict doctors' successful completion of core training in medicine and anaesthetics and their subsequent decisions to pursue higher specialty training?


Feb 16 – Jun 18

Project lead Thomas Gale, Robert Johnson, Arunangsu Chatterjee

Becton Dickinson

(UoPEL commercial contract)

Development and evaluation of technology enhanced training programme for peripheral intravenous cannulation


Sep 15 – Apr 17

PI Thomas Gale, Arunangsu Chatterjee, Austin Hunt

Tropical Health Education Trust

Building capacity and sustainability within Sierra Leonean Health Service to improve resilience to future outbreaks of Viral Haemorrhagic fever


Sep 14 – Jun15

PI Julian Archer, Sam Regan de Bere, Thomas Gale

General Medical Council

A Systematic Review on the impact of licensing examinations for doctors in countries comparable to the UK


Dec 14 – Jan 16

PI Thomas Gale, Austin Hunt, Arunangsu Chatterjee

Telegraph Charities Appeal – Masanga Mentor Ebola Initiative

Evaluation of Immersive Simulation as training tool for Healthcare workers in West Africa


Jun 13 – Mar 15

PI Thomas Gale, Ruth Endacott, Julian Archer

Higher Education Academy

Transforming undergraduate learning through interprofessional simulation


2008 – 2013

PI Thomas Gale, Alison Carr, Jeremy Langton

Department of Health

Development and evaluation of shortlisting and interview methods for acute specialties training programmes


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

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: doctors’ performance at selection and subsequent postgraduate training- a national data linkage study' 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 practicetraining programmes in the UK: secondaryanalysis of data from the UKMED project' BMC Medicine , 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
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 'Non-technical skills and recruitment of anaesthesia trainees Reply' BRITISH JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIA 106, (2) 277-278 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 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