Meet the Deans

Professor Russell Smith

Russell SmithCo-chair UK Foundation Programme Board & Lead Dean for England

Russell Smith is Postgraduate Dean for Health Education England in the West Midlands. He co-chairs the UK Foundation Programme and is Lead Dean for the National School of Healthcare Science.

He is Vice President (Training) of the British Cardiovascular Society and Chairs the Cardiology SAC. He is a Cardiologist at University Hospitals Birmingham and teaches medical undergraduates and postgraduates.

He is also an advanced life support instructor and director, a PACES examiner and chair for the Royal Colleges of Physicians and a faculty member of cardiology simulation programmes.

His research interests have been varied, most recently involving device management of heart failure. For these roles he is an honorary professor at the University of Birmingham.


Professor Clare McKenzie

Clare McKenzieCo-chair UK Foundation Programme Board & Lead Dean for Scotland

Prof Clare McKenzie is a Postgraduate Dean in NHS Education for Scotland and is based in Dundee. 

She is lead dean for Foundation and Diagnostics specialties in Scotland and co-chairs the UK Foundation Programme. 

Her main areas of interest are trainee support and development.

She is particularly passionate about foundation training, seeing this as one of the key transitions in a medical career. 

Through her role in UKFPO, she sees the opportunity to build upon the strengths of the UK programme and improve the experiences for foundation trainees.


Professor Keith Gardiner

Keith GardinerLead Dean for Northern Ireland

Prof Keith Gardiner is a general and colorectal surgeon by background and has been Postgraduate Dean in Northern Ireland and Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency since 2012.

In addition to being a member of the Executive of the UK Foundation Programme, he is a member of the UK Medical Education Reference Group, MDRS Programme Board, UKMED Development Group, GMC Responsible Officer Reference Group and the GMC Curriculum Oversight Group. 

He is strongly committed to the recognition and valuing of trainees (VALUED initiative), trainers (STATUS programme; Time to Train initiative), educators (Faculty Development Programme; Flagship Educational Events) and training (SUCCEED strategy) and has led on the setting up in NI of a Clinical Leadership programme (ADEPT), a generic professional and leadership programme for specialty trainees (iQuest), a Trainee Ambassador programme, Dare to Excel excellence awards and opportunities for trainees to showcase their work (ENGAGE, Annual Excellence Day, Annual Research Day). 

His message for trainees is to live your values, be positive, seek and give help, seize opportunities, look after yourself and make every day your masterpiece.


Doctor Tom Lawson

Tom LawsonLead Dean for Wales

Tom Lawson is interim Deputy Postgraduate Dean for Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).

He represents Wales on the UK Foundation Programme Board.  He is a Rheumatologist at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and has extensive experience in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.

He chairs standard setting groups for Cardiff University Medical School and for the Royal College of Physicians Rheumatology SCE. 

He is a PACES examiner and regional adviser for training for RCP Wales.