Carl Heffernan

Carl Heffernan

  • cheffernan at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
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I am a consultant in Acute Medicine at University Hospitals Dorset since 2018 and a Lecturer Practitioner for Physician Associate studies at Bournemouth University (BU) since 2020. In addition, I am the simulation lead for Poole Hospital and represents the department of medical science at BU for simulation.

I am currently involved in implementing and reviewing Virtual Reality (VR) simulation in student and health professionals. This is using the Oxford Medical Simulation platform via the Oculus. I hope to be publishing on this soon.

In additional, I have an interest in medical education and often try new teaching methods to better engage students. I am a fan of team based learning (TBL), Lego Serious Play and case discussions using artificial intelligence.

I have designed Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) and Single Best Answer (SBA) to assess various student groups. I have participated in writing groups for the national exam for Physician Associates with the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal Collage...



I am currently researching the benefit of Virtual Reality (VR) simulation and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medical based education.

I am currently working with the faculty of science and technology on developing VR for communication with aggressive patients. In addition, I am exploring a potential knowledge exchange for using AI to improve accessibility of information for both patients and staff

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person's work contributes towards the following SDGs:

Good health and well-being

"Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages"

more information

Quality education

"Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all"

more information

Journal Articles

  • Ellis, S., Heffernan, C. and Nadarajah, C., 2019. The impact of the Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) on 'true admission avoidance' at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. Future Healthcare Journal, 6.


Internet Publications


  • Heffernan, C., Smith-Vidal, A. and Simon, C., 2020. Remote Simulation: Training in the Covid era. In: 14th International scientific conference of the Society of Acute Medicine: Glasgow.
  • Ellis, S., Heffernan, C., Lad, T. and Nadarajah, C., 2018. Measuring 'True Admission Avoidance' in Ambulatory care. In: Society of Acute Medicine: Amsterdam.
  • Ellis, S. and Heffernan, C., 2017. True admission avoidance of AEC. In: Acute and General Medicine, London.
  • Heffernan, C., Ellis, S. and Lad, T., 2017. From broom cupboard to Ambulatory unit. The Basingstoke & North Hampshire Hospital journey to ambulatory care. In: Society of Acute Medicine conference: Cardiff.
  • Heffernan, C., Prescott, C., Womersley, J., Michalik, D. and Smith, L., 2016. Acute Kidney Injury: Everybody's Problem. In: Royal College of Physician Edinburgh/Society of Acute Medicine: Past, Present and Future of medicine international conference.

Profile of Teaching PG

  • MSc Physician Associate: Introduction to general medicine
  • MSc Physician Associate: Emergency Medicine
  • MSc Physician Associate: Preparation for national exam
  • MSc Physician Associate: Mental Health

Invited Lectures

  • Using AI-generated videos for reflective practice, Fusion Building, 13 Jun 2023 more
  • Simulation Based Medical Education (SBME), Royal College of Physicians London/UCL, 24 Jan 2023 more
  • Being the Medical Registrar, Royal Bournemouth Hospital, 10 Jan 2017 more

Internal Responsibilities

  • Medical science and public health department representative, Practice simulation

Conference Presentations

  • ASPiH Confrence 2023, Pilot study looking at the benefits of Virtual Reality (VR) simulation for Physician Associates (PA), 06 Nov 2023, Brighton
  • Lessons Learned, Lessons Learned: Check the bloody tap!, 02 Feb 2018, National Liberal Club, Whitehall
  • Quality improvement conference, Ambulatory care, 10 Nov 2017, Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital


  • Masters in Medical Education (UCL, 2023)
  • PGDip with Merit in Leadership and Management in healthcare (University of Southampton, 2017)
  • MRCP (UK) in Medicine (Royal College of Physicians, 2014)
  • MRCP SCE (Acute Medicine) in Acute Medicine (Royal College of Physicians, 2014)
  • MBBS in Medicine (Norwich Medical School, 2009)


  • Senior Fellow (SFHEA) (Advanced HE, 2023)
  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians London (Royal College of Physicians London, 2020)


  • Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME), Member (2023-),
  • The Japan Society, Member (2022-),
  • Royal College of Physicians London, Fellow (2013-),
  • Society of Acute Medicine, Member (2013-),

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