Sir Ewen Waterman Oration

Sir Ewen Waterman was a highly respected South Australian pastoralist, wool executive and businessman. In 1993, his estate, through the decision of his daughter, Sandra Waterman, provided a bequest to the Flinders School of Medicine to establish the Sir Ewen Waterman Foundation.

The Foundation promotes and encourages education in the biomedical sciences at Flinders University since 1993.

Each year, a distinguished scholar of medical education research is invited to give the annual Sir Ewen Waterman Oration enabling Flinders University to access international expertise to complement the ongoing development of its medical programs.

In 2019, Flinders University published a book on the contributions of Waterman Fellows through to 2016 and their ongoing legacy to medical education - The Waterman Foundation: Are you training somebody to succeed you? Building capacity in health professions education (PDF).


Waterman orators

Duke-NUS Medical School

Vice Dean of Education

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Previously, he was Assistant Director of Education and Professional Standards at the UK General Medical Council where he led education policy, regulatory and quality assurance work in postgraduate medical education across the UK. His achievements at GMC include the development of the innovative ‘Generic Professional Capabilities Framework’, revision of the GMC Curriculum Standards and Assessment Systems ‘Excellence by Design’, and development of the ‘Promoting Excellence’ Education Standards for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Medical Education and Training for the UK.

Prof Curran trained as an Anaesthetist with an interest in chronic pain management and was appointed Consultant at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 2003 where he was made Professor of Innovation and Excellence in Healthcare Education in 2014. Prof Curran developed and led London’s multiaward-winning Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning Initiative. This initiative was awarded the BMJ Award for ‘Excellence in Healthcare Education’ in 2011 and HSJ Award for Patient Safety in 2009. He is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London.)

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University Medical Center Utrecht

Professor of Medical Education and Director of the Center for Research and Development of Education

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Olle ten Cate attended medical school at the University of Amsterdam and spent his professional life from 1980, serving medical education. In 1986, he obtained a PhD in social sciences. Until 1999, he was involved in many preclinical and clinical curriculum developments, educational research and program evaluation. In 1999, he was appointed Professor of Medical Education at the University Medical Center Utrecht and program director of undergraduate medical education. Since 2005, he has led the Center for Research and Development of Education at UMCU.

His research interests include curriculum development, peer teaching, competency-based medical education, and many other topics. Between 2006 and 2012, he served as President of the Netherlands Association for Medical Education. In 2012, he was appointed Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, alongside his work in Utrecht.

Professor ten Cate has published extensively in the medical education literature and is and has been involved in supervising over 25 doctoral students in health professions education research.

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Waterman Oration Presentation (PDF 5MB)


Albert Scherpbier

Maastricht University, Netherlands

Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and Professor in Quality Improvement in Medical Education

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Professor Scherpbier studied Philosophy and Medicine at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands and has worked at Maastricht University since 1991.

Professor Scherpbier is particularly interested in workplace learning and skills training. His PhD thesis, “Quality of skills training assessed”, was obtained at Maastricht University.

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Oration - Organisation of Education (PDF 3MB)   |  Workshop - Life and Work Balance (PDF 7MB)


Cees van der Vleuten

Maastricht University, Netherlands

Professor of Education, Scientific Director, School of Health Professions Education

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Professor van der Vleuten’s specific interest is in assessment of professional competence and the evaluation of educational interventions. He has a general interest in evaluative and theoretical research in PBL. Professor van der Vleuten has an educational role as the coordinator of the assessment and evaluation project in the Faculty of Medicine.

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Geoff Norman

McMaster University, Canada

Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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Professor Norman's academic interests focus on the psychology of expertise, particularly as applied to expert clinicians.

His research is focused on the psychology of clinical reasoning, particularly in the relative contribution of rapid processing based on prior experience (so-called pattern recognition) and analytical rules, and educational strategies to improve reasoning.

Additionally, he has strengths and interests in measurement and statistics. Other research interests include methods of student assessment and psychometric methods.

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Steven Durning

Uniformed Services University, USA

Professor and Acting Director, Graduate Programs in Health Professions Education

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Professor Durning completed his medical degree in the USA and his PhD at Maastricht University. His thesis explored the influence of contextual factors on clinical reasoning. Professor Durning’s Oration was entitled New Frontiers in the Assessment of Clinical Reasoning.

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