I was born on Tyneside, the eldest of five brothers, and raised and schooled in Yorkshire. I studied Medicine at Guy's Hospital, University of London, from 1975 to 1981, also completing an intercalated Honours degree in Psychology. This involved working on Britain's first microcomputer at the National Physical Laboratory, when I was involved in the development of educational and medical software
After house posts in 1981 to 1982 at Guy's and Beckenham Hospitals, I spent a period of basic surgical training at the Royal London, Central Middlesex and Northwick Park Hospitals. I then carried out research into pancreatic disease from 1985 to 1988 at the University of Leeds with Professor Michael McMahon. This also took me to Sweden (Malmo) and Germany as Pancreatic Society travelling fellow, and to the USA as AGA International travelling fellow. I gained an MD by research from the Unversity of Leeds, and received the Leeds Regional Surgical Club Gold Medal in 1988 and 1991, the Lord Smith Medal of the Pancreatic Society in 1992, and the Rovsing Medal of the Danish Surgical Society in 1998.
After registrar training at Guy's from 1989 to 1990 with Mr Bob Mason and the late Mr Bill Owen, I returned to the University of Leeds as Lecturer in Surgery in 1990, working with the late Professor Geoffrey Giles in Liver Transplantation and HPB Surgery.
I was Consultant Surgeon and University Hospital Lewisham and Honorary Senior Lecturer at UMDS from 1993-1997, then returned to Leeds to work with Professor McMahon as Consultant Surgeon, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the newly formed Leeds Institute for Minimally Invasive Therapy. In 1996 I was awarded a Hunterian Professorship by the Royal College of Surgeons of England for research into acute pancreatitis. I spent 8 years as clinical director/lead clinician, and in 1997 achieved the Open University's B601 Certifcate in Health services management.
Since my appointment as Foundation Professor of Surgery in 2002, I have built up a new Academic Department of Surgery from scratch on the Derby site, together with Associate Professor Jon Lund and senior technician, Andy Lee. I participated in both the Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) course and expansion of the combined clinical course, for which Derby is now the major clinical teaching site. I introduced the concept of nurse educators and expanded the teaching fellow programme at Derby, which has been replicated across the four other teaching campuses. From 2004 to 2008 I was the final year course chair, and was involved in preparing for the the GMC visit in 2009. From 2005 to 2009, I was GEM admission lead. I completed with a Masters in Higher and Professional Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, in 2004.
I have been involved with the training of surgeons since 1993, firstly with the STEP distance learning programme, then Basic Surgical Skills and CCrISP courses. I became Royal College of Surgeons of England Tutor for e-learning in 2000, Publishing Tutor in 2003, STEP Editor in Chief in 2006, and was appointed Director of Education in December 2008.
I live with my wife on the outskirts of Derby. We have five children, although only our youngest is still at home with us. I have been a Foundation governor at a nearby comprehensive school since 2003. My hobbies include electronics and computing, and going to the gym but never as often as I should. I support Middlesbrough FC and Derbyshire County Cricket club - and enjoy a challenge in my hobbies as much as in my work!