The result... a clear idea that EMP training is a broad area and a fast-growing area especially as language competency testing is on the agenda. There is also a growing need for EMP training within overseas undergraduate courses - as more medical and nursing degrees are either delivered in English or have a compulsory English language strand within the degree.
Conference participation and academic journal writing is another growing EMP sub-group. Healthcare issues tend to be global issues. Participation at conferences requires a confident use of the language.
At the EMP Teacher Training sessions, we were keen to 'debunk' the mysteries of EMP teaching so that more teachers will have the confidence to enter this new area of ESP teaching. I view the growth of EMP as similar to the beginnings of English for Business Purposes. I was teaching General English at the time (late 90's /early 2000's) and remember hearing comments in the staff room about the 'new' Advanced Level courses we were offering. It was also at this time that I was asked to 'put together something' for the 'English for Nursing and Health' course which was being put in place. The fact that there were no materials which I could find which were appropriate was the impetus for writing my own and which eventually lead to the co-authoring of the 'Cambridge English for Nursing' books.
Whilst my background in nursing helps enormously in writing the EMP materials I am currently producing, I firmly believe that a background in healthcare is not essential to be able to teach EMP. Ros, Marie and I were at pains to reiterate that teaching any speciality ESP course is not about teaching content in the main. Of course, there is a certain amount of technical vocabulary involved but it must always be remembered that, in the most part, students have this background knowledge. You, the EMP teacher, are not teaching students to become nurses or doctors or physios etc. You are teaching communication skills within a healthcare context. Fortunately, there are numerous online resources and books which will assist you to develop a working knowledge of healthcare matters. The beauty is that the online resources can also be used by students to produce the resources themselves as a reinforcement exercise.
I have just received the first copy of my latest self-published book 'English for Medical Purposes: Doctors' which I hope will be of use to those of you teaching English for Medicine. I have also published a second edition of 'English for Medical Purposes: The Heart' in an A4 format. I would like to offer 3 free copies of each book to the first person to contact me in return for a review of the books. The reviews will be added to the website with the clear disclosure of the receipt of a free book in return for the review.