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Medical Education

Medical Education Research Team

A/Prof Brendan Carrigan

Brendan Carrigan is an Associate Professor and Medical Lead of the Year 3 Longlook program. He is a Rural Generalist Obstetrician and has broad experience as a rural clinician, clinical educator and medical leader. For his contributions for medical education, he was awarded the 2019 Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils – Queensland Division Clinical Educator of the Year. Brendan is passionate about delivering evidence based medical education in rural areas and has collaborated with leaders in the education field to conduct research in medical education including learning in rural and regional areas through VRE and reflective practices within medical students and rural clinicians.

Dr Robert Hefferan

Robert Hefferan is a Senior Lecturer and Medical Lead of the Year 4 Longlook program. Robert is an experienced general practitioner and rural generalist. As a clinical supervisor to GP registrars and medical students, he values a safe learning environment that promotes curiosity and understanding. In the non-clinical environment, Robert strives to deliver authentic, hands on, case based medical education. Robert has a broad range of research interests across rural medical education and clinical care with a special interest in novel ways to engage with learners and recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Education through Flinders University.

Prof Kay Brumpton

Kay Brumpton is Professor and Subdean of the Griffith University Rural Program. Kay has over 25 years of experience in rural general practice and over 10 years’ experience in medical education. In addition to overseeing the teaching and learning in the Longlook program, Kay contributes to general practice training, both as a clinical supervisor and through involvement in National Training Organisations, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACCRM). In addition to her clinical expertise in rural health, she also holds a Masters in Clinical Education from Flinders University. Kay’s research work span across a broad range of medical education topics from learning styles in vertical integrated teaching to psychological safety on feedback conversations in general practice.

Mr Paul Purea

Paul Purea is the Director of Training at RuralMedEd and a lecturer in the Griffith University Rural Program specialising in simulation education. He has extensive experience as a Registered Nurse working in regional and rural Queensland in the areas of anaesthetics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, general practice and emergency. Paul holds a Masters in Clinical Education from Flinders University. His research focus is on exploring effective models of teaching and learning in longitudinal curricula.

A/Prof Janani Pinidiyapathirage

Janani Pinidiyapathirage is an Associate Professor and Research Lead of the Griffith University Rural Program. She has over 10 years’ experience as a medical teacher in both undergraduate and postgraduate medicine programs. Janani is a skilled researcher with experience in both quantitative and qualitive research methods. Her current research interests are in delivering effective education tools/models for students and doctors in rural placements.

Dr William MacAskill

William MacAskill is a recent doctoral graduate with a background as an experienced secondary school educator. He has research experience in education and medical education and was the recipient of the 2023 ANZAHPE Early Career Award. William provides research support to run multi-site student-led clinical audits across rural public hospitals in Metro South and Darling Downs. William has experience in conducting focus groups and interviews for both research and quality improvement purposes, and human clinical trials. He is particularly interested in research designed to improve the learning experience and outcomes for students including optimising reflective learning and fostering student interest in clinical research.

Dr Claire Dorothea Nicholls

Claire Nicholls is a lecturer in curriculum and pedagogy within the School of Education at the University of Southern Queensland. She brings over 16 years of experience as an educator having taught in primary and secondary state schools, tertiary university teaching and community learning contexts. Claire’s work as a researcher is hallmarked by interdisciplinary work and developing novel approaches for undertaking qualitative research. Her contributions to research offer unique insights into experiential lifelong learning, applied philosophy and innovating research methodologies and methods.


Connectivity is the key to longer rural placement: Retaining students on rural longitudinal integrated clerkships.

Carrigan B, Bass L, Pinidiyapathirage J, Walters S, Woodall H, Brumpton K.

Beyond the Written Reflection: A Systematic Review and Qualitative Synthesis of Creative Approaches to Reflective Learning Amongst Medical Students.

MacAskill W, Chua WJ, Woodall H, Pinidiyapathirage J.

Recruiting students to rural Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships: A qualitative study of medical educationists' experiences across continents.

Pinidiyapathirage J, Heffernan R, Carrigan B, Walters S, Fuller L, Brumpton K.

"We're all learning together": Educator perspectives on medical student reflective practice.

Woodall H, Carrigan B, Furness L, Heffernan R, Pinidiyapathirage J, Brumpton K.

The influence of psychological safety on feedback conversations in general practice training.

Ajjawi R, Bearman M, Sheldrake M, Brumpton K, O'Shannessy M, Dick ML, French M, Noble C.

Current research

Development of model of communication for learning conversations involving ongoing patient care.

Grant funding: ACRRM Education Research Grant
Status: awaiting ethics approval
Project team: RuralMedEd, Queensland Health

The Reflective Learning Toolkit: embracing diversity of reflective practice during clinical placements.

Grant funding: Griffith University
Status: Proposal development
Project team: RuralMedEd, Griffith University, University of Southern Queensland

Designing and evaluating game-based teaching: an escape room approach to enhance clinical reasoning skills in medical students.

Grant funding: Internal
Status: manuscript writing
Project team: RuralMedEd, Griffith University

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