Dr Vanessa Kay

Clinical Reader

Postgraduate Medicine, School of Medicine

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+44 (0)1382 381636


Dr Vanessa Kay is the Director of Surgical Skills within the Dundee Institute of Healthcare Simulation, leading on the development of innovative surgical simulation training. Through-out her career, she have developed an increasing role in developing and delivering high quality medical education, having obtained a Masters of Medical Education in 2012. She was the teaching lead in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and lead for undergraduate medical formative assessment over the last 8 years. Having worked as a consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in NHS Tayside for over 13 years, she continues to work as a general gynaecologist, with specialist interest in reproductive medicine and pelvic floor dysfunction. She is a co-lead for an MSc in Human Clinical Embryology Reproduction and Assisted Conception, having obtained an MD and continuing to actively contribute to research in this field.

She works as part of the Scottish Collaboration on Surgical Simulation to help develop strategy to implement Improving Surgical Training. As a lead on ELearning for the RCOG, she is developing new online tutorial packages in reproductive medicine. She worked as part of the Scottish National Fertility Group to develop new guidelines for access to assisted conception. In her engagement with the Medical Schools Assessment Council Alliance, she was involved in designing and validating SBA questions for a National Exam question bank. Dundee Institute of Healthcare Simulation: https://dihs.dundee.ac.uk/ MSc Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception: https://www.dundee.ac.uk/study/pg/human-clinical-embryology-assisted-conception/

The following are recent examples of media exposure related to Dr Kays work in Surgical Simulation. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/728106/new-dundee-medical-centre-to-feature-robot-doctors-and-vr-headsets/ https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16889750.the-robot-will-see-you-now-dundee-leading-way-with-robotic-surgery-training/ Radio https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/m0000dzh Television https://player.stv.tv/episode/3p3f/stv-news-dundee/


She is involved in liaising between the NHS and University in developing research and teaching, across various areas. In surgical simulation, she is involved in supporting a Masters in Surgical Simulation, supporting research in medtech developments and modules in MMEd programme. In reproductive medicine she supports research in the following current areas: (1) Examination of calcium signaling pathways and responses in spermatozoa as indicators of reproductive potential; (2) Examination of pluripotency in embryos and embryonic stem cells; (3) Use of drug discovery to identify leading candidates to enhance gamete function. She is involved in the co-supervision of SCRED lecturers and a number of MSc and BMSc students. She is an invited editor for Human Reproduction and the European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care and has co-authored chapters for books on the subjects of donor insemination and obesity and male infertility. She is involved as the local supervisor for various multicentre studies. She is currently the lead for the RCOG on ELearning, developing a package of tutorials in reproductive medicine and a reviewer for the RCOG on various guidelines including the management of ovarian hyperstimulation and exercise in pregnancy, premenstrual tension, and have been a contributor to the Standards for the Menopause Service.

View full research profile and publications


Since becoming a consultant at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, her role in medical education has increased and diversified. She was previously the lead Convenor for Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Phase Convenor of the Cumulative Assessment Programme (from 2004-2018). She has been involved in designing, delivering and evaluating assessment for the MRCOG Part II, having been a member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) assessment committee since 2008 until 2015. Since September 2016. She is the lead for developing online tutorials to support the RCOG advanced training modules in Subfertility and Reproductive Medicine (2016 to current), with 4 tutorials published to date. She was an external examiner for the University of Edinburgh Medical School from 2010 until 2013. She has been involved in the Medical Schools Assessment Council Alliance from 2014 until 2018: designing and validating SBA questions for a National Exam question bank.

In reproductive medicine, she has been involved in designing, delivering and supervising a number of courses and post-graduate degrees jointly with Professor Christopher Barratt, including a Selective Study Component in Reproduction, Stem Cells and Assisted Conception (for 13 medical students last year), BMSc (3 students last year) and PhD (1-2 students per year). She has co-led in designing and implementing a new course for an MSc in Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception, which started in September 2014 with over 50 applicants per year and 13 students currently participating. She supervises 2-3 fourth year undergraduate projects per year, usually in the field of reproductive medicine or pelvic floor dysfunction. She also co-ordinate a 4 week SSC in pelvic floor dysfunction for 6 students per year.

In her role as Director of Surgical Skills, she is leading on diversifying the current course portfolios and ensuring training is of high standards and meeting the requirements of current surgical trainees, this includes developing a robotic training strategy and providing multidisciplinary courses and non-technical skills training. She is also involved in enhanced engagement with industry to support new courses and medtech developments.

Media availability

I am available for media commentary on my research.

Dr Kay is a specialist in Reproductive Medicine, teaching of MSc and BMSc students and working clinically as a consultant gynaecologist in the Assisted Conception Unit at Ninewells Hospital.

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Areas of expertise

  • Fertility