Prof. Andrew Elder

University of Edinburgh, UK


Andrew Elder is an NHS Consultant in Acute Medicine for Older People in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK and an Honorary Professor at the Edinburgh Medical School. He is an advocate for the enduring value of the core bedside skills of communication and physical examination in this era of high technology medicine. At Stanford, he works with Professor Abraham Verghese and colleagues in the “Stanford 25” Programme, and in July 2016 co-founded the Society of Bedside Medicine, with the aim of revitalising the direct link between doctors and their patients in the teaching, learning and practice of medicine.

Professor Elder has held leadership positions in medical education at UK national and international levels. As Medical Director of MRCP(UK) from 2013-2018 he led the development and delivery of mandatory assessments in internal medicine and its specialties to over 26,000 candidates per annum globally. As Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Assessment Committee over the same period, he coordinated the work of the twenty-four UK Royal Colleges and Faculties and responsible for the assessment programmes for all doctors in UK graduate medical education. Previously, as Chair of the MRCP (UK) Clinical Examining Board (2008-2013), he was responsible for the PACES exam, the world’s largest international high stakes postgraduate bedside clinical skills assessment. He has taught or assessed bedside clinical skills in over twenty countries and lectured in fifteen in the past 5 years, usually on topics relating to bedside medicine.

Awarded a CASBS-Presence Fellowship at Stanford University in 2018-19, he worked on a book project outlining the challenges that we face in the provision of care for increasing numbers of older, frailer, multimorbid patients in our health systems and broader society. Appointed as a Presence Scholar in 2019 he continues to support the work of the Presence initiative, particularly with regard to the care of older people.

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