One of the country’s leading medical educators has been awarded an honorary doctorate to mark a distinguished career spanning almost four decades in higher education and the NHS.

Professor Sean Hilton was honoured by the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, run jointly by Kingston University and St George’s, University of London. He collected his award at the Faculty’s graduation ceremony.

Professor Sean Hilton received the award for his work in medical education at St George’s, where for 25 years he was integral in leading teaching innovation. For 30 years, he was also a partner at Canbury Medical Centre in Kingston upon Thames.

“This means a huge amount to me and I’m delighted to be honoured alongside the students from the Faculty, who should all be immensely proud of their own achievements,” said Professor Hilton.

Professor Hilton will retire this July, leaving his current roles at St George’s as head of the Division of Population Health Sciences and Education, and director of international affairs.

“It has been a great experience to work with so many colleagues from different disciplines, and I shall certainly miss them when I retire,” added Professor Hilton. “Receiving an honorary doctorate from Kingston and St George’s is a wonderful way to say goodbye.”

Professor Hilton qualified as a doctor at St George’s in 1974, and returned in 1987 as a part-time senior lecturer. In 1993, he was appointed professor of general practice and primary care, and head of the Department of General Practice and Primary Care.

In his time at St George’s, as dean of undergraduate education, vice principal (teaching and learning) and deputy principal, Professor Hilton worked to ensure the university was at the forefront of medical education innovation. He was a leading member of the team that introduced the country’s first medicine degree for graduates, a model now used by many other medical schools.

Professor Hilton has also had nearly 40 years’ experience of working for the National Health Service, including eight years as a board member of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.