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06 September 2021

Professor Rick Iedema announces retirement

Professor Rick Iedema, Director of the Centre for Team-Based Practice & Learning in Health Care, will retire in October having greatly expanded interprofessional education at King’s.

Professor Rick Iedema

Rick Iedema joined King’s College London in 2017 as the UK’s first Professor of Team-Based Practice & Learning, and Director of the Centre for Team-Based Practice & Learning in Health Care. Working across King’s four Health Faculties, Rick oversaw the expansion and strengthening of interprofessional education (IPE) and collaborative practice research at King’s, in line with recommendations from Health Education England, European Commission and World Health Organization for modernising health professions education. In keeping with the priority education theme of the Health Faculties’ Five-Year Ambition 2016-21, all existing IPE initiatives were consolidated to better draw upon King’s unique and world-leading blend of research enhanced, interdisciplinary and interprofessional expertise in health care; several new initiatives serving many thousands of students each year were developed under his stewardship, all focused on equipping students with the skills required to stay abreast of the rising complexity of care practices and care challenges. At the start of the 2017-18 academic year fewer than 4,500 students attended IPE teaching, at the start of the 2022-23 academic year more than 10,500 students are positioned to attend IPE. Rick’s directorship has ensured King’s remains a leader in progressive interprofessional and team-based learning, and an international beacon for advanced team-based educational theory and practice.

Professor Iedema’s teaching career spans several decades, beginning as a teacher of English language in Asia in 1983. During his PhD candidacy at the University of Sydney he lectured in systemic-functional linguistics and (visual) semiotics, and tutored at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) before taking a full-time appointment there at what is now the School for Public Health and Community Medicine. Rick became an Associate Professor there in 2005, having been appointed Deputy Director of the Centre for Clinical Governance Research, Faculty of Medicine, in 2002. In 2007 he joined the University of Technology Sydney as Professor, Associate Dean for Research (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences), before becoming Professor of Organizational Communication (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) and Executive Director of the Centre for Health Communication. Rick then held a Professorship of Healthcare Innovation at the University of Tasmania whilst working for New South Wales Ministry of Health as Research Manager, Agency for Clinical Innovation, 2014-2016. Prior to his appointment at King’s, he was Professor of Healthcare Improvement and Implementation Science, split between Monash University and Warwick University’s Business School.

Rick is a world-renowned researcher. He has authored hundreds of publications attracting over 12,000 citations from around the world; with an H-Index of 63 and i10-Index of 166 Rick is ranked among the top social scientists of recent times. His publication work includes over 200 journal articles, 50 authored chapters and seven books; and continues to grow. Rick pioneered Video Reflexive Ethnography (VRE) since the early 2000s, an innovative methodology for health services research now widely adopted across continents. He has been invited around the world to give talks  and run workshops on VRE and other aspects of his research programme.

He has continued to research, collaborate and write during the pandemic. His most recent book ‘Affected: On Becoming Undone and Potentiation’, published by Palgrave Macmillan this year, advocates for a collaborative, affective, visualised and future-oriented research agenda. A theme those who have worked with him agree he embodied. Rick, as popular as he was professionally productive, will be sorely missed.

Andreas Xyrichis, Senior Lecturer and Editor-in-Chief of the international Journal of Interprofessional Care, said: "Rick joined King’s at a pivotal moment to help realise a long-standing ambition for health professions education, modernising and expanding King’s pioneering initiatives for IPE in the UK. During Rick’s Directorship, King’s enjoyed a rejuvenation of interprofessional team-based education and research through several initiatives, including high-profile NIHR-funded research on patient safety and development of innovative learning resources. Rick was an inspiring and supportive leader, highly accessible and generous with his time. I wish Rick all the best in his future ventures and shall remain grateful for his mentorship and collaboration during his time at King’s."

Alec Knight, Lecturer in Public Health Education, said: "I have known Rick since shortly after he started at King's, as a research collaborator, mentor and friend. We have now co-authored several research papers and book chapters together. Aside from Rick's exemplary work in the Centre for Team-Based Practice & Learning in Health Care, I think anyone who knows him well would agree that he is a highly avuncular, collaborative and wise man. What struck me through working with him were his ability to listen, his intellectual humility, and his prodigious inter-disciplinary knowledge. I am grateful for Rick’s generosity, his academic mentorship, and the knowledge he has imparted over the years that I have known him. I wish Rick the very best for his retirement."

In this story

Alec  Knight

Senior Lecturer in Medical Education