Medical school celebrates tenth anniversary and 700 doctors

The BSMS alumni stall at the BSMS tenth anniversary extravaganza, November 2013

Students, staff from BSMS and their families celebrated together in the latest of a series of events to mark the tenth anniversary of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, a partnership between the universities of Sussex and Brighton and NHS partners across the South East. 

An extravaganza of fun activitites was laid on at the University of Brighton’s Checkland Building at Falmer on November 16, where students, staff and families celebrated with a test of suturing skills, a walk through a virtual heart and an exhibition of student art, as well as music from the University of Sussex Big Band and a Medics’ Revue. 

There were medical quizzes from the 1800s, medical reviews, and a silent auction to raise money for the BSMS Global Health charity helping people with podoconiosis, a disease of the lymph vessels of the lower limbs.  

Professor Helen Smith, Head of Division of Public Health and Primary Care, said: “Opportunities to both catch up with former staff, alumni, old friends and to make new friends were particularly valued, and with the generosity of those there and donations from local businesses and friends we raised over £1,700 for the BSMS Global Health research programme. The whole event was a massive success.” 

BSMS is also supporting the Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice this year as the hospice is celebrating its tenth birthday as well.  

Professor Jon Cohen, Professor of Infectious Diseases, was appointed the school’s first Dean in January 2002 and a year later the school opened and became one of a new generation of medical schools developed in the UK. 

Professor Cohen, who is stepping down at the end of this year, said: “We started with nothing at all, no classrooms, no staff, no students and here we are 10 years later and we have now produced over 700 doctors, we have a thriving research programme and we have really established ourselves as part of the medical infrastructure and local health economy here in the South East. 

“We went out of our way to set up a selection process that certainly focused on quality but also I am very proud of the very diverse range of students that we have recruited over the years and will continue to do so. 

“We have been incredibly fortunate to recruit a really world-class team of educators, people who have brought with them years of experience but also, most importantly, I think enthusiasm and the wish to develop new ideas to innovate and really create a programme here which has so quickly become one of the most popular medical schools in the country. 

“One of the things that has given me most pleasure has been the strength of the partnerships that we have been able to build up over these last 10 years, partnerships with both the universities, with colleagues in the NHS right across the region and of course, partnerships internationally as well.

It’s the strength of those partnerships which are going to take us forward with such confidence and such excitement into the next 10 years.” 

Future events to celebrate the tenth anniversary will include lectures, a debate at the 2014 Brighton Festival and a number of student and alumni occasions. 

Anyone with memories of BSMS, whether they are photographs, films, words or anything that reflects its history, can share them as part of the school’s memories project. 

The school has also made a series of films, reflecting partnerships it has built, its engagement with the local community, the 700 new doctors, some of the school’s research work, its global impact and its impact on patient care. 

Notes for Editors 

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune and Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678 888. Email: 

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Last updated: Tuesday, 26 November 2013