Meet The Associates

Our Team


Dr Simon Frazer – Director 

Simon is a consultant in paediatrics and medical education. Alongside his clinical practice he works as a professional educator, delivering a wide range of faculty development, coaching, mentorship and leadership programme as the Director of DoctorsTraining.

He has an active interest medical education research and is a practising ILM qualified executive coach. He led the education services in an acute trust for 8 years as the Director of Education and also worked as the deputy medical director at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He has lead a number of initiatives including regional induction passports and faculty development in Yorkshire & Humber.

He has experience leading the development and implementation of the RCPCH trainee portfolio and representing his college developing a revalidation portfolio with the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges. He has sat on a number of assessment and revalidation committees at the RCPCH.

He has provided leadership in the implementation of high fidelity multi-professional simulation and human factors training within his own trust that runs several regional and national courses.

He has a passion for education and a unique perspective of the wider health service workforce in his role working in an integrated multi-professional education service.

Dr Liz Spencer – Founder of DoctorsTraining

Liz founded DoctorsTraining in 2008 and retired as a consultant anaesthetist in Gloucestershire in 2017. She obtained her diploma in Medical Education, University of Bristol in 2005 and is an Executive Coach (ILM Level 7). She was Director of Medical Education for ten years and elected onto NACT UK Council in 2004, Chair 2006-9 and Education Adviser until 2018. She has published guidance for NACT UK members and nationally on many aspects of medical education.

She developed a Faculty Development programme for her Trust, assisted the Severn Deanery and HEE SW develop materials for their Trainers and has travelled the country developing Faculty, particularly Educational & Clinical Supervisors. She has presented nationally and internationally on Supporting Doctors in Difficulty and delivered Leadership in Medical Education courses for NACT UK, RCS (London) and the London Deanery. She is an Appraiser for her Trust and NHS England & is a recognised Appraiser trainer.

Our Expert Associates

Dr Jo Szram


Jo is a consultant respiratory physician specialising in occupational and environmental lung disease and works in the “Lungs At Work” clinical service at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London where she is also Director of Medical Education. She trained in Cambridge, Leicester, Nottingham and North West London and is an honorary senior clinical lecturer at the National Heart and Lung Institute (Imperial College), London.

Jo is heavily involved in the education and training of healthcare professionals, focused on learning that directly improves workplace culture and by consequence, patient care. She has a number of other educational roles including Deputy Postgraduate Dean, Health Education England (HEE) South London, Core Medical Training Programme Director, HEE North West London and JRCPTB CMT Quality lead, and most recently national physician specialty recruitment office clinical lead for HEE. Jo is also an elected Council member of the Royal College of Physicians (London), and honorary Treasurer of the National Association of Clinical Tutors (NACT) UK.

Mr Tony Browning

Tony is a surgical consultant in urology having trained in both Cape Town and Leeds. He is  an experienced Associate Postgraduate Dean having previously been Training Program Director and Director of Post Graduate Medical Education.  

He has worked on regional faculty development with the development of the HEE Yorkshire and Humber education supervisors programme and continues to supervise senior trainees. Tony is a qualified coach, appraiser and one of our most experienced facilitators. He keeps himself sane by heading out into the Yorkshire Dales, either on foot or by bicycle.

Dr Mark Slade

Mark is a consultant in respiratory and general internal medicine.  He has held leadership roles within the NHS, as a clinical director, specialty director and medical director.  He is a committed educator and trainer and enjoys excellent feedback as a coach, mentor, educational supervisor and appraiser.  He sat on the panel overseeing the development of the GMC educational standards.  He completed the international health and social care leadership programme of the university of Yale school of public health and regularly teaches on leadership and its components

Dr Sophie Price

Sophie is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine working across acute trust and community services.  She has a specialist interest in Medical Education, completing a Masters degree in 2014 and a subsequent fellowship with HEE in Wessex, leading the group of regional Medical Education Fellows. She has run and published a number of qualitative research studies in medical education for postgraduate trainees and professional support. She is an experienced facilitator, teaching on regional and national multi-professional programmes, including courses for specialty training, enhanced communication skills and training the trainers.  She joined DoctorsTraining in 2016

Professor Patrick Tissington

Pat is a senior academic at the University of Warwick where he leads on all employability policy and practice across the institution. For five years he was Programme Director of the Royal College of Physicians MSc Medical Leadership and has held senior positions at Birkbeck, University of London and Aston University. Additional experience includes military service and senior roles in business.

An Occupational Psychologist for 20 years, his interest is in helping people to lead more productive and happier lives. With a practical outlook built on a firm evidence base, his experience is in developing leaders and creating real teams. He is completely practical but his programmes are always based on the best peer-reviewed evidence available. He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Chartered Psychologist.

Dr Sarah Coope

MBChB MRCGP DRCOG Dip.Coaching, NLP Practitioner, Accredited Mediator.

Sarah has been a GP since 2002 and now has a portfolio career comprising of salaried GP work, Named GP for Safeguarding Children and Clinical Director of a Primary Care Network. She is an experienced GP appraiser, medical school tutor and also provides educational & behavioural support for doctors in difficulty through NHS E.

Alongside her clinical work, Sarah’s passion is teaching and facilitating communication skills workshops.  She regularly presents workshops for the MDU & for the Yorkshire and Humber Deanery on various aspects of communication  and leadership & management. Sarah is a qualified coach and has worked with many health professionals covering a wide range of areas, particularly around conflict, burnout, stress and career development. She is also an accredited mediator.

Dr Bob Philips

Bob Phillips is an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric / Teenage-Young Adult Oncology at Leeds Children’s Hospital and Senior Clinical Academic at the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York. 

Bob has worked extensively to promote and teach evidence-based practice with the Yorkshire Deanery, providing training to multidisciplinary groups and individuals. He has worked with the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine in Oxford, UK, and also the Centre for Evidence-based Child Health (Institute of Child Health, London, UK). He edits the evidence-based practice sections of the Archives of Diseases in Childhood, and is an associate editor of the journal. He has lectured in the UK, Europe, North America, Australia and the Nordic Countries on the subject of evidence-based practice, and has written widely on this.

Ms Caroline Pennels

Caroline completed a science degree prior to her RGN training. After qualification she worked in vascular surgery, general & cardiac ITU in London and then moved to Bristol.
She did a Masters in Law at Bristol University and completed her barrister training in London in 1998. She worked as Clinical Risk & Litigation Manager at City Hospitals Birmingham prior to moving to Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust as Head of Legal Services in 2000.

She has published on legal issues in nursing and medicine and deals with all Court work for the Trust involving inquests, the Coroner, Police and Social Services. She has always been very active in getting involved in teaching clinical staff the important legal aspects of practice and providing advice for nursing and medical staff on the wards around challenging cases with ethical or legal problems. She has delivered workshops with Liz on Ethical & Legal aspects of practice in Gloucestershire and across the UK

Dr Peter Taylor

Peter trained in Sheffield and Bristol and worked as a Haematologist in Rotherham until retiring from clinical practice in 2016. He had an active research interest and developed a supra-regional service for the management of bone marrow transplant complications. He co-founded and subsequently chaired the UK Photopheresis Society and  participated in national and international service reviews.

He was Director of Medical Education  before spending  the last 10 years as a Deputy Postgraduate Dean. He was awarded a Masters in Medical Education and recently achieved ILM(level 5) status in Coaching and Mentoring.

His main interest has been in supporting the development, implementation and assessment of a board range of educational  materials both for healthcare trainees and particularly their supervisors, and has been an active participant in the national Delivering Excellence in Medical Education Conference.

Peter has an extensive experience of educational quality reviews across a range of healthcare providers, and this has focused his desire to enhance the quality of training experiences for all learners – and their trainers.

Mrs Poonam Bagga

Poonam is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS trust, she has a keen interest in medical and patient education.
Poonam has trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Centre for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts. She is a fully qualified coach (ILM – level 7) and holds a PG certificate in medical education. She has worked as an Associate Director and then Director of Clinical Studies for Hull York Medical School for more than a decade.

Poonam has held other educational and leadership roles and currently chairs a culture change programme in NLAG trust. She has a particularly intrigued by human behaviours and is keen to incorporate principles of mindfulness to the skill set of medics to enhance their own well being which would subsequently have a ripple impact of improved patient outcomes in these challenging times.

Dr Susy Stirling

Susy is Associate Dean, Training Programme Director for Public Health and Coaching Scheme Lead within Health Education England in Y&H, and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the School of Health and Related Research at Sheffield University.  She has worked in a variety of health systems in the NHS and overseas, and for and with acute trusts, health authorities, primary care groups, primary care trusts, a strategic health authority, clinical commissioning groups, Public Health England, NHS England and Health Education England. 

She runs the Future Leaders Programme in Y&H, a multidisciplinary clinical Leadership Fellowship Scheme.   Susy trained and worked in Public Health, and became interested in organisational development after observing the impact of successive NHS reorganisations on staff as well as patients.  She set up and runs a Coaching Scheme for trainees, having trained as a coach and seen at first-hand how powerful the impact of protected thinking time away from the coalface can be on workplace effectiveness, engagement and wellbeing, all of which contribute to better patient care. 

She is an experienced facilitator and is trained in NHS Leadership Academy 360 appraisal, Action Learning Set facilitation, Thinking Time Coaching and facilitation, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Strength Deployment Inventory, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hogan psychometric tools.  She is interested in supporting doctors to find reward and motivation at all stages of their careers.

Dr Rob Macpherson

Rob trained in Leicester, Sheffield and Bristol and after working as a consultant psychiatrist in Gloucestershire in various Trust roles, retired from full time work in 2017. He now works as a part time early intervention psychiatrist in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.  He is also a Clinical Director of Research in 2Gether trust. 

Throughout his career Rob had a significant involvement in medical education, having been clinical tutor, training programme director for general adult psychiatry and for seven years head of Severn School of psychiatry. 

He was also involved in the development of appraisal in his trust and was lead for appraisal for a number of years, subsequently sitting on the appraisal committee up to his retirement from full-time work. 

He has had a number of college roles, including seven years as Director of South West Training, and membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists recruitment committee.  He has continued to work in research through his career and has ongoing  research interests, as well as a current role focussing on the strategic development of research in his Trust.  His interests outside work include travel, sailing, tennis and music.

Ms Sarah Johnson

Sarah is an Organisational Development Manager and Leadership Development Specialist within the NHS. She believes in supporting leaders and managers through coaching, mentoring and personal development interventions and programmes to help them to be as effective as possible to ensure delivery of excellent services to all service users.

Sarah also runs her own company, Advanced Coaching Academy, and delivers Institute of Leadership and Management qualifications for individuals to become executive, workplace and strategic coaches and mentors.

Sarah describes herself as a solution focused, transformational coach who works with individuals and teams. She has delivered team coaching to senior leadership teams and has supported Trusts to develop internal coaching and mentoring strategy and infrastructure to support this.

As a team facilitator/coach Sarah has enabled ‘team turnarounds’ in both acute and mental health sectors and is also a qualified Coaching supervisor.

Ms Rachel Pilling

Rachel is a consultant ophthalmologist from Bradford who specialises in paediatric ophthalmology.

Rachel has particular interest in Quality Improvement and Service Design and is a QSIR practitioner. She is enthusiastic about encouraging staff at all levels to be involved in change and empowering people to embrace leadership in a meaningful way which directly improves patient care.

By acknowledging burnout  as a key factor in preventing  patient safety issues and delivering exceptional care, we can help staff recapture their internal drive to “be and do good”.

Rachel  and colleague Dan Wadsworth were awarded the NHS Improvement Sir Peter Carr Award in 2017 in recognition of their Quality Improvement work. Their social movement “15seconds 30 minutes” aims to enable all NHS staff and patients to reduce frustration and increase joy in work. 15s30m is now used as a Quality Improvement Tool in organisations across the UK and beyond. Follow them @15s30m.

Rachel has a Masters in Medical Ethics and Law and believes passionately in equality of care and has been involved nationally in Learning Disability Eye Care for over ten years. In 2016 was awarded the Astbury Award in recognition of collaboration in Eye Care for her work to reduce inequalities in access to Learning Disability Eye Care . She current holds the position of Clinical Lead for NHS England Special School Eye Care Programme.

Dr Jaimee Wylam

Jaimee is a doctor working in psychiatry. She has interests in medical education, leadership and staff well-being. Jaimee completed her postgraduate certificate in Medical Education in 2018 and has experience teaching undergraduate and postgraduate learners.

She completed a leadership fellowship within the Future Leaders Programme working for Health Education England across Yorkshire and the Humber. Through this role she developed and implemented a deanery wide education programme for promoting trainee well-being in foundation doctors. Jaimee has an interest in mentoring, having set up the SuppoRTT (return to training) mentor programme in her deanery. 

Jaimee has a diploma in wellbeing coaching and experience as a mentor. She has a keen interest in helping people to achieve their potential.  

Dr Chris Johnstone

Chris is a specialist trainer for resilience and wellbeing, with over thirty years experience running workshops in these fields. After graduating in medicine with distinction in 1986, he trained as a GP, then worked part-time in psychiatry while also developing a role as a trainer, author and coach.

 Much involved in medical education, he has been a Senior Teaching Fellow at Bristol University and a visiting research fellow at the Centre for Resilience, University of Westminster. His book Seven Ways to Build Resilience maps out the seven pathway model he applies in his training work, while his online course Personal Resilience in an Hour has attracted students from more than fifty-five countries. He lives in the north of Scotland, teaching courses online and travelling several times each year to run workshops around the UK.