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Dr Richard Ayres

Dr Richard Ayres' former students are now health professionals in many disciplines in the UK and around the world. They make a positive impact having provided health care to many thousands of people. Richard feels that they are much better prepared than he was when he started out; for the part he played in their journeys he is extremely proud.
University of Plymouth
Job Title
Associate Professor, Lead for Population Health

Richard has been teaching a variety of health workers from health assistants to hospital consultants for nearly 30 years and has taught and designed courses from first aid certificates to Masters level. 

He regularly hears from former students in the UK and around the world who have cared for many thousands of people – Richard finds this to be one of the most fulfilling parts of the job.  He is also thrilled to have contributed significantly to the recommended learning outcomes widely used both in the UK and internationally for medical students and other health professionals. These are very different from the mostly "biomedical" outcomes that formed the basis of his own medical training, being much more about "wellness" as well as illness; including things like shared decision making and advocacy that are transforming the way that healthcare is delivered. 

Richard has focused on two particular themes from the beginning; that students should try to "make a difference" and that patients and communities can become teachers, but this has been a journey in which he has discovered that focusing on individual patients in all their complexity is not only the best way to produce holistic practitioners, but the best way to integrate learning. He also found that there are wonderful and powerful educational opportunities for healthcare students in community groups and organisations that are often untapped and can be mobilised.

Richard has been lucky to share his journey with wonderful colleagues who have been his inspiration and he continues to nurture his many peer networks. He still practices as a doctor to continuously remind himself why inspiring the next generation to really care for people and do it well is the best job in the world.