Professor Connie Mary Wiskin BA (hons); MPhil; PhD; ILT

Professor Connie Mary Wiskin

Birmingham Medical School
Professor of Medical Education
Director of the Interactive Studies Unit (ISU)

Contact details

Interactive Studies Unit
90 Vincent drive
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Connie is a medical educationalist of 32 years standing, specialising in human simulation, clinical communication, OSCE assessment and international electives. She is the Director of the Interactive Studies Unit (ISU), Lead for the Referred Students Coaching Programme and Module Lead for the MBChB Elective. 


  • PhD in interactive consultation assessment (exam psychometrics) 2007 
  • ILT (Institute of Learning and teaching) accredited, 2003
  • MPhil in application of simulation methodologies to counselling and vocational training, 1991
  • BA (hons) in History, 1989
  • ACST


Connie has been active in the field of healthcare simulation since 1989, and employed at UoB since 1991. Primary focus has been design and delivery of teaching and assessment in communication and professionalisation.  She works across a range of medical humanities fields. Alongside this she has continuously undertaken medical education research, disseminated via publication and conferencing.

Currently her strategic focus is internal, to cater for substantial increase in programmes and healthcare student intakes, but historically she have worked with Health Education England (in its various historic iterations) and other external stakeholders running PG programmes across all clinical grades/specialities. A flagship example is 18 years’ experience of high stakes coaching for qualified doctors and dentists identified as struggling in communication, language and professionalism. 

Connie directs the Interactive Studies Unit, the team responsible for the design and delivery of clinical communication, professionalism and language teaching and assessment for students on MDS patient-facing healthcare programmes (Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing and Physician Associate), with growing support for Biomedical Science. Input varies between programmes, often comprising forum and small group methodologies. She oversees a team of 5 medical education academics, and an in-house recruited team of 100+ sessional associates who simulate patients, carers, advocates and colleagues, offering learners a live context for direct practice, reflection and personalised feedback (Simulated Patients/Persons – SPs).

Connie leads an intensive 1-1 remediation and support service for individual students identified as having serious difficulty with language, communication or professional development (character). This is the only service of its kind currently reported in the UK, and beyond. She is responsible for the management of up to 70 (complex) cases P/A.

She is responsible for the smooth running of degree programme components, ad hoc externally funded contracts, the well-being of permanent, casual status and self-employed staff/associates, and the overall quality of ISU service delivery. Connie also leads on educational research; both individual and team initiatives.

Her other academic interests include the International Electives (MBChB Module Lead) Global Health (BMedSci Intercalation Programme Deputy), interactive assessment, student recruitment and student support. She has been external examiner for 5 institutions, and act in an advisory capacity for 3 Royal Colleges.


  • MBChB Clinical Core 2 (Communication)
  • MBChB Year 4 – Professionalisation
  • MBChB Year 4 Conference Poster
  • MBChB Elective
  • MPharm Years 1-3 (Communication)
  • BNurs Years 1-3 (Communication)
  • BDS Years 1-3 (Communication)
  • PoSH Intercalation Programme

Postgraduate supervision

  • Intercalation and Masters’ by Research
  • PhD internal examiner


Research interests

  • Educational evaluation
  • Human simulation methodology
  • OSCE reliability/validity
  • Student support (communication and professionalisation)
  • Elective risk assessment; elective ethics
  • Clinical communication standards and outcomes
  • Mentoring student publishers, education and International Health

Current projects

  • National educational audit of remediation and support mechanisms
  • Evaluation of referred students coaching programme
  • National recommendations for elective risk assessment
  • Simulated patient and public voice in assessment of professionalism

Other activities

  • Widening participation workshops/outreach interests
  • External advisory roles UCC, COMD and RVC
  • Assessments and EDI trainer Royal College of Dental Surgeons
  • Co-founder and past Chair MSC Electives Committee
  • Member UK Council for Clinical Communication
  • Journal Editor Hindawi, and reviewer for 7 further peer reviewed journals.


Recent publications


Weetman, K, Wiskin, C, Skelton, J & Heathcock, K 2024, 'Evaluating the referred students’ coaching programme through student surveys: A protocol for an evaluation of supporting healthcare students with language, communication and professional development', Communication and Medicine, vol. 19, no. 2.

Bustin, C, Bawa, S, Munasinghe, CK & Wiskin, C 2022, 'The impact of COVID-19-related educational disruption on final year medical students in Birmingham, United Kingdom: a mixed methods study', MedEdPublish, vol. 12, 55.

Tattsbridge, J, Wiskin, C, de Wildt, G, Clavé Llavall, A & Ramal-Asayag, C 2020, 'HIV understanding, experiences and perceptions of HIV-positive men who have sex with men in Amazonian Peru: a qualitative study', BMC Public Health, vol. 20, no. 1, 728.

McNally, TW, de Wildt, G, Meza, G & Wiskin, CMD 2019, 'Improving outcomes for multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis in the Peruvian Amazon - a qualitative study exploring the experiences and perceptions of patients and healthcare professionals', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 19, no. 1, 594.

Wiskin, C, Dowell, J & Hale, C 2018, 'Beyond ‘health and safety’ – the challenges facing students asked to work outside of their comfort, qualification level or expertise on medical elective placement', BMC Medical Ethics, vol. 19, no. 1, 74.

Newell, I, Wiskin, C, Anthoney, J, Meza, G & De Wildt, G 2018, 'Preventing malaria in the Peruvian Amazon: a qualitative study in Iquitos, Peru', Malaria Journal, vol. 17, no. 31, pp. 31.,

Wiskin, C, Duffy, J, Weetman, K, Skelton, J & Swindells, C 2016, 'Mindset, confidence and skill: The impact of a development intervention', British Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 315-324.

Mellor, RM, Sheppard, JP, Bates, E, Bouliotis, G, Jones, J, Singh, S, Skelton, J, Wiskin, C & Mcmanus, RJ 2015, 'Receptionist rECognition and rEferral of Patients with Stroke (RECEPTS) : unannounced simulated patient telephone call study in primary care', British Journal of General Practice, vol. 65, no. 636, pp. e421-e427.

Laidlaw, A, Salisbury, H, Doherty, EM & Wiskin, C 2014, 'National survey of clinical communication assessment in medical education in the United Kingdom (UK)', BMC Medical Education, vol. 14, 10.

Sheppard, JP, Singh, S, Jones, J, Bates, E, Skelton, J, Wiskin, C, Mcmanus, RJ & Mellor, RM 2014, 'Receptionist rECognition and rEferral of PaTients with Stroke (RECEPTS) study - protocol of a mixed methods study', BMC Family Practice, vol. 15, no. 1, 91.

Wiskin, C, Roberts, L & Roalfe, A 2011, 'The impact of discussing a sexual history in role-play simulation teaching on pre-clinical student attitudes towards people who submit for STI testing.', Medical Teacher, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. e324-32.

Ryan, CA, Walshe, N, Gaffney, R, Shanks, A, Burgoyne, L & Wiskin, C 2010, 'Using standardized patients to assess communication skills in medical and nursing Students', BMC Medical Education, vol. 10, no. 1, 24.

Roberts, L, Wiskin, C & Roalfe, A 2008, 'Effects of exposure to mental illness in role-play on undergraduate student attitudes', Family Medicine, vol. 40, no. 7, pp. 477-483.


Reinarz, J, Wiskin, C & Bates, V 2016, The History of Clinical Communication Teaching. in J Brown, L Noble, A Papageorgiou & J Kidd (eds), Clinical Communication in Medicine. First edn, 27, Wiley-Blackwell, Chicester, pp. 172-178.


Weetman, K, Wiskin, C & Chizzo, J 2022, 'A cross-programme vertically integrated communication and professionalisation curriculum, adapted from pharmacy for nursing', International Journal of Healthcare Simulation, vol. 2, no. Supplement 1, pp. A47-A48.

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