Sir John Edward Tooke has a well-established background in academic medicine. His primary research interests are in the fields of diabetes and vascular medicine; however, his main interest for this website was his involvement in producing the Tooke Report.
This involvement began with his appointment to lead an enquiry into what had gone wrong with Modernizing Medical Careers (MMC), which was set up to overhaul training in the UK for medical doctors after graduation. It was Tooke’s opinion that what was wrong with MMC was not the training arrangements outlined in the program themselves, but the way they had been implemented by government. His report suggested that, good though MMC was in design and theory, it had been so badly misapplied and lost so much confidence on the part of the medical profession that the best approach would be to scrap it and replace it with an entirely new system to be created after consultation with medical practitioners.
As may be imagined, the suggestion that action should be based on recommendations by people who understood what they were talking about received a somewhat frosty reception from government. In fact, the UK Department of Health has responded to the report by rejecting three quarters of it, which has aroused fresh hostility from medical practitioners. There is still a lack of clarity as to how postgraduate academic medical training will be conducted, and it is this that creates the need for a program such as ATRIUM.
What is needed is a coherent, informed body of opinion from within the profession to counteract the inevitable and inescapable pressure from government that always seeks:
To reduce costs to the lowest level possible; and
To meet the needs of entities (such as Big Pharma) that stand to gain greatly in financial terms if they can control the direction in which academic medical training goes.