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Descartes April 2019

I was pleased to be invited back to Paris. This visit was dominated by the fire at Notre Dame. This iconic building has great symbolic resonances.

The view from my window.
The fire takes hold.
Crowds come to see for themselves and take a photograph.
Surveying the damage to Notre Dame.

The teaching followed the usual format of lectures and seminars. We also authored an audio blog for the University and talked a lot about curriculum changes, moving to an undergraduate problem based learning (P.B.L) model.

Small group working.
Recording an audio blog.

Paris Teaching.

Decartes University teaching
A chance to education new doctors.

Part of their undergraduate course has to be taught in English.

We found that having two presenters was a lot more entertaining for the students.

Decartes University, questions to Dr Leslie and Dr Macaulay.
Asking a question in English.

Of course,  big lecture presentations have drawbacks for students, but

Could I answer the student’s question?

they also presented at seminars. The standard was very high indeed. We also meet them informally and in small groups.

The next course will be in May – Springtime in Paris. Sounds good to me!

Teaching in Paris December 2017

Paris in the Snow
Paris in the Snow

I have been to told that it is unusual for there to be snow in Paris. Well, there was on our visit.

I was fortunate to visit  L’Université Paris Descartes again with my colleague Dr Flavia Leslie, Consultant Psychiatrist.


Our teaching consisted of set-piece lectures, seminars and small group teaching sessions. It lifts the spirits to come across such able and enthusiastic students.

Philippe Persiaux and Dr Andrew Macaulay
Philippe Persiaux and myself

I have great admiration for Philippe Persiaux and Martine Chauffeté-Manillie from the Enseignant d’anglais.

As a result of their efforts most of the students are fluent in English, a critical asset in the increasingly international field that medicine has become.

The are to be congratulated on their achievements.


St Anne Hospital, Paris
Sainte Anne Hospital, Paris

We did have a quick visit to the Sainte Anne Psychiatric Hospital in Paris. Many of the students spend some time there, but in fact some students miss out on Psychiatric training completely, apart from the one week with Dr Leslie and myself. We are encouraging the medical school to offer more in the way of psychiatry!

I hope we will get invited back. Paris in the Springtime sounds good.

L’Université Paris Descartes

This is the second time I have taught at the medical school. My colleague, Dr Flavia Leslie and I had an intensive week teaching the undergraduates about mental health. In 2015 we visited just after the terrorist attacks and did quite a lot of work on trauma and PTSD. This time we were able to lecture about more general psychiatric topics.

As well as small group seminar work we undertook some set-piece lectures to several hundred students. In these sessions we took turns to role-play patients and interview situations along with video presentations.  I could see that the students were gripped by nurse Jill and her PTSD that Dr Leslie portrayed.

Dr Andrew Macaulay
Some last minute thoughts over breakfast.

I enjoyed role-playing Mr Tin-man, who was a Schizophrenic. The students were a bit shocked by his tinfoil helmet which deflected the special radiation controlling his mind.

Philippe Persiaux and Martine Chauffeté-Manillie from the Enseignant d’anglais, PRAG, FACULTÉ DE MÉDECINE organised the week for us. The students are most fortunate to have such an energetic and enthusiastic department and it was great fun to work there.