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Michael Atkinson

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Senior Lecturer in Medical Education

I am a Senior Lecturer in Medical Education. I teach Master of Medical Education and MBChB Medicine.

Teaching and supervision

Main responsibilities: Teaching and supporting learning on Master of Medical Education.

Other responsibilities: PBL Tutor, Mindfulness Lecture for MBChB Medicine Unit 6: Brain and Mind.

Research interests for potential research students

Medical education; mindfulness and meditation; wellbeing and resilience; professional identity formation; clinical reasoning; critical thinking; philosophy; curriculum evaluation; teacher education, learning, teaching and assessment.



  • Atkinson, M. (2009) A New Consideration of Values in Teacher Education. British Education Research Association (BERA). Also presented at BERA Conference in 2009 at Manchester University.
  • Atkinson, M. & Lertoria, T. (2008) Opportunity Knocks: Routes into Teacher Education. Sunderland & London: University of Sunderland & the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA).
  • Gregson, M., Spedding, T., Atkinson, M. & McCartney, K. (2008) Making the Road by Walking: paths to becoming a professional teacher educator. In: British Education Research Association (BERA) Also presented at BERA Conference at Edinburgh: Heriott-Watt University in 2008.



  • 5th December 2022: Atkinson, M. & Hetherington, R. Mindfulness, Resilience and Wellbeing for Postgraduate Researchers. Presented at the Postgraduate Research for Student Wellbeing Training and Support Day held by the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in Manchester.  
  • 9th November 2022: Mindfulness and Self-Care Workshop for the MSc in Clinical Science Module, Introduction to Clinical Leadership & Professional Development, at Newcastle University. Funded by Health Education England (HEE).  
  • July 2022: Mindfulness in Medical Education workshop at The Association of the Study of Medical Education's (ASME's) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) conference in Aberdeen.
  • March 2022: Presentation at Newcastle University’s Learning and Teaching Conference, entitled, ‘The Introduction of Mindfulness to Newcastle University’.
  • 8-9 July 2021: Facilitated mindfulness workshop at the Association of the Study of Medical Education’s Annual Scholarship Meeting.
  • June 29 2021: 20:20 presentation Adapting Research Student Training and Development to Integrate Personal Development and Wellbeing Support for Research Students. Dr Richy Hetherington, Dr Gail De Blaquiere, Kate Aitchison, Michael Atkinson, Dr Lucy Robinson, Rob Bedford, Dr Laura Leonardo, Laura Stevenson & Simon Cotterill | Newcastle University 
  • Adapting doctoral research & training Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, UK Council for Graduate Education Annual Conference 2.1
  • March - April 2021: Co-facilitated a series of online discussion groups with Nicholas Buxton, Just Meditation (based in Durham), on the theme of mindfulness and ethics.
  • November 2019: Presentation of pilot research project on Mindfulness and Clinical Decision-Making with medical students on Student Selected Components (SSC) in the RVI and in GP context. Presented at the Annual Clinical Reasoning in Medical Education (CReME) Conference at University of York. Lead researcher on the project and working with Dr Caroline Sprake and Dr Lucy Harrison.
  • November 22 2019: North-East Postgraduate (NEPG) Conference. Co-led workshop with Dr Zoe Williams on mindfulness. (Good Morning Britain, Trust Me I’m a Doctor).
  • October 31 2019: Led a mindfulness workshop for GPs at The Grand Hotel, Gosforth, Newcastle with Dr Zoe Williams (Good Morning Britain, Trust Me I’m a Doctor).
  • May 22nd 2019: Mindfulness talk at Pint of Science Festival in Newcastle.
  • May 16-17 2019: Contributed to a mindfulness symposium at the 1st International Conference on the Mental Health and Well-being of Postgraduate Researchers in Brighton - organised by the UK Council for Graduate Education.
  • February 21 2019: Talk entitled, ‘Mindfulness: A way to improve well-being in our personal and professional lives’ given to the North of England Odontological Society at Newcastle University.
  • Nicolau , M. & Atkinson, M. (July 2018) The effects of survey and student characteristics on the quality of course evaluation in UK undergraduate medical education: a systematic review of the literature. Newcastle University. Poster Presentation at ASME Annual Conference, Sage Gateshead.
  • March 2018: Presentation on mindfulness and resilience research delivered at Newcastle University’s Learning and Teaching Conference.
  • March 2018: Talk on mindfulness and mental health delivered at ‘Little Ted Talks’ in North Tyneside.
  • Izquierdo, D., Atkinson, M. & Hetherington, R. (2017) Mindfulness to support resilience and well-being. Presented at Vitae Conference, Research into Researcher Development, 11-12 September 2017 
  • Sarma, S. & Atkinson, M. (2017) “I don’t belong here” – how the imposter phenomenon affects learning in medical students struggling academically. Presented at the International Association for Medical Education conference in Helsinki.
  • Atkinson, M. (2017) Can regular mindfulness practice contribute to an improved sense of resilience in research students? Poster presentation at the Association for the Study of Medical Education conference at Exeter University in June 17. Also presented at Three Rivers Conference at Teesside University in May 2017, and presented at the Newcastle Meditation Centre in September 2017


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Duffy, Kate and Atkinson, Michael (2010) How do we create lasting and radical change in Post 14 Education?. Teaching in Lifelong Learning: A Journal to inform and improve practice, 2 (1). pp. 56-66. ISSN 2040-0993

This list was generated on Sat Mar 25 05:13:59 2023 GMT.
  • Medical education: teacher education; principles and practices of learning, teaching and assessment; evidence-based practice; curriculum evaluation.
  • Mindfulness and meditation: wellbeing, resilience; professional identity formation; clinical reasoning; transpersonal psychology; Eastern thought and practice.
  • Humanities: psychology; transpersonal psychology; philosophy; critical thinking.

I am a full-time Senior Lecturer in Medical Education at the University of Sunderland. My main role is with the Masters in Medical Education course but I am also involved in facilitating PBL for the MBChB undergraduate medical degree, as well as a Lecturer on mindfulness for the Unit 6 module, Brain and Mind. I was previously a lecturer in Medical Education, Associate Lecturer in Psychology, and Mindfulness Teacher at Newcastle University. 

At a national level, I am Co-Chair of ASME’s Mindfulness in Medical Education Special Interest Group (MiME) which involves the organisation and delivery of mindfulness in medical education conferences; chairing and delivery of workshops for ASME's Annual Scientific Meeting Conference; facilitation of ASME Bitesize events; assessment and awarding of MiME Awards; and publication of materials for ASME and the Wiley journals, Medical Education and The Clinical Teacher.

I have over 20 years of experience as a mindfulness practitioner and have taught mindfulness in a range of public and private contexts including local and national conferences and events, Higher Education institutions, and healthcare settings. As a mindfulness professional, I continue to organise and deliver the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme, as well as workshops, retreats, and one-to-one sessions for the public. I have collaborated with a range of mental health and mindfulness practitioners such as Dr Zoe Williams (resident GP on ITV's Good Morning Britain) and Ron Epstein (author of 'Attending'), and have facilitated workshops for the Pint of Science Festival, the BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership, and the Introduction to Clinical Leadership and Professional Development programme, which is part of the MSc Clinical Science commissioned by HEENE.

My research is primarily mindfulness focused, linking it to wellbeing, resilience, and clinical decision-making, but I have also published on teacher education, undergraduate medical curriculum assessment and evaluation, and teaching within a medical context. I have peer-reviewed articles for two Springer journals, 'Mindfulness' and 'Advances in Health Sciences Education' as well as grant applications for the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

I have a first degree in Philosophy, a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and Training, a masters in Education, and I'm a Senior Fellow with Advance-HE.

I currently live in Durham in the north east with my family.

Last updated 22 March 2023