Ms Jan Whetstone BA Hons, MA, LTCL

Ms Jan Whetstone

Institute of Clinical Sciences
Non-Clinical Tutor in Primary Care Clinical Sciences - Interactive Studies Unit

Contact details

Primary Care Clinical Sciences
Institute of Clinical Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Jan Whetstone is a member of the Clinical Communication team in the Interactive Studies Unit, and is involved in teaching and lecturing in Clinical Communication both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is also involved in the teaching of several Medicine in Society modules in the UG programme.

Through the ISU Jan works with the Doctors in Difficulty programme organised by the West Midlands Deanery and is currently involved in the new Professional Support Unit for students.
She is also a personal mentor in the undergraduate programme.

She has a special interest in communication assessment, inter-professional talk and teacher education.


  • MA in English for Specific Purposes, University of Warwick 2005
  • LTCL in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Trinity College London 1989
  • PGCE Modern Languages, University of Leeds 1976
  • BA (Hons) German and French, University of Leeds 1975


Jan Whetstone originally graduated as a foreign linguist (German and French), going on to gain teaching qualifications in this field. After then spending 4 years living in Nigeria, West Africa, she came back to specialise in the field of English as a Foreign language (EFL) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in the UK. She spent over 20 years teaching and training teachers in this discipline and headed the ELT department at City College Coventry. Her teacher training experience has taken her to Beijing, China in a joint programme with Trinity College London, training Chinese lecturers of English in Beijing universities.


Her interest in Clinical Communication comes from setting up and running many specialist English programmes for pre-registration international doctors, during her work in Coventry. Clinical Communication was also the focus of her MA in ESP at the University of Warwick.


Jan joined the Interactive Studies Unit at the University of Birmingham in 2006, teaching Clinical Communication across the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum. She also retains a special interest in the needs of international medical students and international doctors who are continuing their training and practice in the UK.


Jan is currently involved in the Birmingham – Guangzhou Project and has undertaken one teaching programme at the Guangzhou Women’s and Children’s hospital. This was a combined programme delivered with the Public Health team on Evidence-based Health Care and Academic English for Medicine. Further programmes are anticipated in the future.


Working in a 0.5 capacity at Birmingham allows Jan the opportunity to continue assessment activities in international English for both the British Council and the University of Cambridge LES.


  • MBChB1 – MiS
  • MBChB2 – MiS
  • GEC 1 – Clinical Communication
  • MBChB3 – Clinical Communication
  • MBChB5 – Clinical Communication
  • FY2 – Non-clinical Competencies (not running this year)

Postgraduate supervision

Jan has acted as Mentor to various doctors studying for MSc, MPhil and PhD qualifications



  • Doctors in Difficulty
  • Academic English for Medicine


  • Currently working on areas of specific interest in the Doctors in Difficulty programme, such as triggers which lead to referral on the grounds of communication and outcomes following referral intervention. This will form a conference presentation in AMEE in 2011.

Other activities


  • Speaking Examiner for University of Cambridge LES in Upper Main Suite and Lower Main suite examinations
  • Speaking Assessor for ESOL in the ‘Skills for Life’ suite of Cambridge examinations
  • Oral Examiner for the British Council IELTS examination in English – a mandatory requirement for international doctors, in order to register with the GMC
  • Until recently Jan has written for the Advanced level Reading examination in the Cambridge Upper Main Suite