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Educación Médica

Print version ISSN 1575-1813

Educ. méd. vol.15 n.3  Sep. 2012




Henry Walton. In Memoriam



Andrzej Wojtczak

Exdirector del International Institute for Medical Education (IME)
Expresidente de la Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)



On July 13th 2012 the world medical education lost one of it's most prominent educators at the age of 88 - Professor Henry Walton. He definitely deserves the recognition, and position, of one of the founding fathers of contemporary medical education.

Born in South Africa, he graduated from the medical school in Cape Town, and after special training in London and New York in 1967, he became Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh. In 1986 he took the Chair of International Medical Education at the University of Edinburgh.

For many of us he will be remembered as a founder and first President of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) that was established in 1972. He was fully devoted to an idea of making this newly established society the leading innovator in the field of medical education in Europe. It was a great pleasure for me and great learning experience when working with him on this venture. After 14 years of AMEE Presidency he fully devoted his great energy to reform the medical education around the globe as the President of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). In 1988 he hosted and presided over a World Congress in Medical Education, which concluded with the ''Edinburgh Declaration'' that has formulated the 12 principles that should be enshrined in medical education worldwide. The content of the Edinburgh Declaration, his greatest achievement, has found a broad reflection in the WFME Global Standards - it is his efforts that are promoting changes in medical education around the globe, and providing guidance to new medical schools, and to international educational bodies.

From 1963 until 1997, Professor Henry Walton was the editor of the British Journal of Medical Education (presently Medical Education). He was one of the founders in 1971 of the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) and chaired its Council. He was also a founder, Secretary, and President of the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME).



His lifetime achievements have been honored both by ASME and AMEE. Among many awards and numerous prizes he received also the Gold Medal of the Albert Schweitzer World Academy of Medicine in 2003.

Henry together with his wife Sula, an eminent child psychiatrist, during their lifetime have gathered a carefully selected collection of artworks that have been displayed in the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh as the Henry and Sula Wolff Collection.

Henry will be remembered, not only as a one of the greatest medical education authority and source of multifaceted knowledge, but also for his educational enthusiasm, and human qualities.

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