A senior Lanarkshire Doctor has been awarded the prestigious Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh William Cullen Prize, for her role in training medical students and her dedication to patients. 

Dr Evelyn Ferguson, who is Lead Clinical Trainer for Obstetrics and Gynaecology in NHS Lanarkshire, has established a comprehensive teaching programme at the University Hospital Wishaw, which gives medical students a personal timetable to experience the practical challenges of the field, while complementing it with daily tutorials delivered by the students to their peers. The students also attend a clinical skills and simulation day where they are able to lead the management of patients with deteriorating conditions. Some of Dr Ferguson’s trainees even made a short video about their training at the University Hospital Wishaw.

In addition to her work at NHS Lanarkshire, Dr Ferguson has developed a number of training courses to develop confidence with complex operative delivery, which are offered to all Scottish trainees. Dr Ferguson hopes that her training programmes and courses will help NHS Lanarkshire train and retain a high calibre group of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The award was presented to Dr Ferguson at the annual NHS Lanarkshire staff awards on 16 May.

A College Spokesperson said:

“The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has members and Fellows all over the world, but this prize particularly recognises excellence in service innovation at a local level.

“Dr Ferguson deserves the Cullen Prize for improving the quality of the training that medical trainees receive in Lanarkshire, with an innovative programme designed to help them gain confidence in complex operative delivery, and other vital aspects of being an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. This, ultimately, will help trainees become better equipped to assist patients at hospitals across Lanarkshire and further afield.”

On receiving the William Cullen Prize, Dr Ferguson said:

“I am extremely honoured to receive The William Cullen Prize.  I never expected to receive a prize for doing part of my job that I love but to have been nominated by my peers is humbling and I'm very grateful. 

“To receive such recognition from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh helps us attract talented students, trainees and consultants to our department. I work hard to foster an ethos of learning in our department but could not do this alone and am very ably assisted by my dedicated colleagues, such that we won the NES Team of the Year, 2018 prize at the recent awards. 

“I also wanted to say that the William Cullen prize is a beautiful award and the story behind the letter I received was fascinating.  I look forward to looking further into the College’s archive in Edinburgh to read more cases this eminent physician was involved in.”

  1. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) is an independent standard-setting body and professional membership organisation. The College’s aim is to improve and maintain the quality of patient care. The College helps qualified doctors to pursue their careers in specialist (internal) medicine through medical examinations, education and training. It also provides resources and information to support and facilitate professional development for physicians throughout their careers.
  2. The William Cullen Prize was created in 2016 to recognise excellence in teaching or service innovation at a regional level.
  3. William Cullen (1710-1790) was the most influential medical lecturer of his generation, and drew thousands of students to the Edinburgh Medical School. As the pre-eminent Scottish medical figure of his day, Cullen’s opinion was in high demand and people wrote to him from around the world requesting his advice on treatments. An archive of his private consultation letters can be found at http://cullenproject.ac.uk/
  4. Dr Evelyn J Ferguson is the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist College Tutor and Lead Clinical Trainer for Obstetrics and Gynaecology at NHS Lanarkshire. She has developed a number of training courses, for example CompOp, for developing confidence with complex operative delivery which is now offered to all Scottish trainees. Sometimes it is best to hear from the trainees themselves about what they think is important in terms of training, and Dr Ferguson’s trainees made a short video about their training at the University Hospital Wishaw, which can be viewed here.
  5. A photograph can be found via Twitter.

Paul Gillen

Contact: Paul Gillen p.gillen@rcpe.ac.uk 0131 247 3658