GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute

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A returning Fellow presents the results of her curriculum innovation project at an interactive poster session to this small group which then discusses the project.

Sixteen new Fellows and 24 returning Fellows met at King Edward Memorial Hospital – Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College (GSMC) in Mumbai, India, from June 13-19, 2006 for the second GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute. One of the highlights was the poster presentation session, a highly interactive day during which returning Fellows presented and discussed the curriculum innovation projects they have been working on since the first session of the Regional Institute last year. Projects included: a survey of teaching methods for cardiopulmonary resuscitation in Maharastra, which found that only 35% of schools used mannequins; a pilot program in problem-based learning; and use of checklists for formative assessment in performance assessment of occupational therapy students. Another highlight was a discussion of concepts related to scholarship and professional advancement by Nilima Kshirsagar, Dean of KEM-GS Medical Center, and Page Morahan, Co-Director, FAIMER Institute. The GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute is under the direction of Dr. Avinash Supe, Professor and Head of the Medical Education and Technology Unit and GI Surgical Unit at Seth G.S. Medical College, and a member of the Institute 2002 class.

Regional Institute Perspectives

Adkoli Balachandra, Observer
Medical Education Unit, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences
Chandrakant Patankar, Faculty
Department of Microbiology, KEM-GSMC

Adkoli Balachandra, Observer

Dear friends,

The GSMC-FAIMER meeting gave an opportunity to strengthen our ties, and to look forward. Though I was not directly involved in taking a session, I enjoyed sitting back, observing, facilitating group process and sharing some lighter moments with the group. More than that, I was humbled by the warm hospitality extended by everyone in the GSMC team.

I also learned much from Bill Burdick and Page Morahan to restrain faculty intervention so as to encourage and empower the participants for self-directed learning.

It was a great break from routine, a stress buster, a rejuvenating experience and great fun, and what else is needed?

Thanks for everything. Well done GSMC team!!

Chandrakant Patankar, Faculty

I underwent metamorphosis as an educator over the past year as I worked on the conception, birth and delivery of the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute. The continuous discussions and deliberations between team members of the two institutions (FAIMER and Seth GS Medical College [GSMC] in Mumbai, India) helped me understand the process of evolving a working partnership between two organisations that are culturally different but inspired by common goal. This on-going cross-cultural experience has enriched my vision of the world.

I joined the Medical Education Technology (MET) unit of Seth GS Medical College & King Edward Memorial Hospital in 1995. MET had been active since 1993, training over 2000 medical school faculty from Mumbai and across the state of Maharashtra (population 90 million), with workshops on management, research, medical sciences, and other education projects. We have experimented with designs and methods for teaching these workshops and training modules through continuous evaluation of our efforts.

The discussions to develop the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute were goal-oriented and sharply focused on feasibility. Interactions with Bill Burdick, Avinash Supe and my colleagues in the MET unit during this process enabled me to make contributions that became more purposeful and fruitful. I can better appreciate the difference between the desirable and doable objectives. It has also greatly increased my degree of empathy for those doing this type of development.

Use of the GSMC-FAIMER listserv, GSMC Yahoo! discussion group, and WebCT has given me greater expertise in electronic interactions. All these were new to me. As a result of this experience, I have been able to start two additional Yahoo! groups on my own, “medicaleducationunit” for our MET group and “fungushunters” for my colleagues in mycology, both of which are now active electronic discussion groups. The Internet has become a daily part of my professional activities. GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute brought new people, new ideas, new vision and a new dimension to my life. It helped me explore what was within and trained me to acquire and assimilate what was without!

Working with Institute Fellows on their curriculum innovation projects has also been a treasure of learning. Conceptualisation, development and implementation of their education projects through continuous interactions with Institute Fellows and Institute faculty was a new experience. I was introduced to the program evaluation concept of the “Logic Model” for the first time. Discussions with the fellows helped refine my own concepts and thoughts on medical education. I find myself much more confident in dealing with project planning, development, and evaluation. This experience has benefited my work in other areas as well.

Networking with like-minded educators across the country was one of the stated goals of the Institute. Through my role on the Institute faculty, I am part of that envisaged network. Free exchange of useful information across India in the field of medical education has been possible through the Institute. Working with our GSMC-FAIMER Institute Fellows has enhanced my skills of communication, teamwork, fellowship and scholarship. I am pleased that I could contribute to the growth of medical educators in India.

FAIMER President Participates in 3rd Indonesian Medical Education Meeting and Expo

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John J. Norcini, Ph.D., FAIMER President, served as a guest speaker and faculty member at the 3rd Indonesian Medical Education Meeting and Expo that was held on June 5-7, 2006 in Bali, Indonesia. Dr. Norcini taught in one workshop entitled Assessment of Clinical Competencies/Mini-CEX and made presentations at the Clinical Competence Assessment and Clinical Specialist Training symposia. He also participated in a Meet the Expertsession.

The meeting and expo is a forum of the Association of the Indonesian Medical Education Institutions and is used to share experience and knowledge among medical schools in Indonesia. Led by the deans of the medical schools, the Association is working to improve the quality of medical education and to stimulate licensure and accreditation in the country.

Indonesia ranks fourth in world population, with about 250 million people, and has approximately 52 operating medical schools.

FAIMER Represented at World Health Organization’s SEDCAP Planning Meeting

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John Boulet, Ph.D., FAIMER Director of Research and Data Resources, participated in the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored meeting on strengthening educational capacity in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in five African countries (SEDCAP), May 29-31, 2006, in Gaborone, Botswana. In addition to Dr. Boulet, Professor Sam Luboga (WHO Uganda) and Dr. Dan Kayongo (University of Transkei, South Africa), both former FAIMER Institute Fellows, were in attendance.

The goal of SEDCAP is to strengthen the human and institutional resources of schools of health professionals in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda. By doing this, their graduates will be better equipped to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.

Hosted by the Department of Nursing Education of the University of Botswana, WHO Collaborating Centre, the event attracted more than 60 attendees, including deans and members of the faculty development committees in the project countries, WHO staff, partners, and donor organizations. Presentations were made to familiarize all participants with the educational capacity and performance needs of the local African institutions, and small group discussions were held aimed at delimiting the relevant local educational challenges and developing specific needs assessment measurement tools. On the final day, country teams were formed and asked to devise country-specific action plans. These detailed plans will be used to initiate the second phase of the SEDCAP project.

FAIMER Research Scientist Leads Roundtable on Brain Drain

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Danette W. McKinley, Ph.D., Research Scientist, led a roundtable session at the Global Health Council’s 33rd Annual International Conference on Global Health on June 1, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Dr. McKinley’s presentation, Measuring Brain Drain: Combining Data Sources for Effective Analysis, examined the migration of highly skilled health care workers from less developed countries to more developed countries.

The session was based on a current investigation describing the characteristics and workforce pathways of physicians educated in sub-Saharan Africa who applied for ECFMG Certification between 1990 and 2004. Several data sources were used to quantify the emigration of physicians educated in Africa to the United States over this 15-year period. The study provides an example of how a combination of data sources can be used to inform “brain drain” discussions.

FAIMER Holds Symposium at 12th International Ottawa Conference

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FAIMER staff members presented on various research projects and initiatives at the FAIMER Symposium of International Medical Education Issues at the 12th International Ottawa Conference on Clinical Competence, May 20-24, 2006 in New York City. Topics included: accreditation processes throughout the world, characteristics of the world’s medical schools, migration from Africa to the United States, and immigration from South Asia. Other presentations by FAIMER staff included a workshop on the Mini-CEX conducted by John Norcini, Ph.D., FAIMER President; a workshop on building a state-of-the-art clinical skills simulation center co-presented by John Boulet, Ph.D., FAIMER Director of Research and Data Resources; and presentations at the National Board of Medical Examiners symposium, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE): Performance of International Medical Graduates.

The 12th Annual Ottawa Conference was the largest Ottawa Conference to date, with over 1,000 medical school faculty, health educators, policy makers, and researchers from around the world in attendance.

First 2005 IFME Fellows in Residence at UIC

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Dr. Saoji (left) and Dr. Vyas (right)

Vivek Saoji, M.B.B.S., M.S., and Rashmi Vyas, M.B.B.S., M.D., attended a summer session at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in May. Drs. Saoji and Vyas are pursuing Master’s in Health Professions Education degrees at UIC through FAIMER’s International Fellowship in Medical Education (IFME) program.

The IFME program has been redesigned to enable selected graduates of the FAIMER Institute to pursue advanced degrees in health professions education at institutions that have distance learning programs with a minimal residential requirement. This alignment of the Institute and IFME programs creates a pathway for educational leadership in international health professions education. Drs. Saoji and Vyas are the first Fellows of the redesigned IFME program to complete a residential session for their Master’s program.

Dr. Saoji is a Professor, Department of Surgery, and Dean of Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College in India. Dr. Vyas is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physiology at Christian Medical College, Vellore, in India. Both are members of the 2003 class of the FAIMER Institute.

Medical Educators-FAIMER Staff Plan for Launch of Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute

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William Burdick, M.D., M.S.Ed., FAIMER’s Director of Education, and FAIMER Institute Faculty Member, Stewart Mennin, Ph.D., traveled to Universidad Federal do Ceara in Fortaleza, Brazil, in May to meet with local medical educators about the upcoming Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute. The planning session included a number of FAIMER Institute Fellows from South America, including Henry Campos, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., Dean, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Ceara, who will direct the new Institute. The Brazilian Secretary for Health Manpower, the Associate Director of the Brazilian Medical Education Association, and representatives from local medical schools were also in attendance.

The Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute, expected to begin in February 2007, is FAIMER’s third such collaboration. Regional Institutes in Mumbai, India, and Ludhiana, India, began in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Based on the model of the FAIMER Institute, established in Philadelphia in the United States in 2001, Regional Institutes provide opportunities for international medical school faculty to learn education methods and leadership skills, and to develop professional relationships. Applications to participate in the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute will be accepted beginning in the fall of 2006.

Perspectives from Mendoza

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The School of Medical Sciences, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, in Mendoza, Argentina, hosted the XI International Meeting of Medical Education on March 29-30, 2006. Organized by Dr. Ana Lía Vargas, a 2001 Fellow of the FAIMER Institute and former Institute Global Faculty Advisor, the meeting was attended by more than 40 individuals, including faculty from medical schools in Chile and Argentina. FAIMER representatives, John Boulet, Ph.D., Director of Research and Data Resources, and Marta van Zanten, M.Ed., Research Associate, also participated. Like their predecessors in 2003 and 2005, the conference centered on the assessment of clinical skills.

Dr. Boulet rated the conference as highly successful in promoting FAIMER’s mission of providing opportunities for the cross-cultural exchange of experience and expertise in the fields of physician training and assessment. Participants gave very positive feedback to the meeting organizer and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to network with each other and enhance their skills in clinical competence evaluation, as reflected in the feedback of Kristina Weil, M.D., Institute 2002 Fellow:

I traveled to Mendoza with two other faculty members from Universidad de los Andes (Santiago, Chile), who are working very hard on OSCE…and with two other Chilean medical doctors from the Medical School of Universidad del Desarrollo, where I am also teaching. It was a very good opportunity to share experiences and to promote new teaching techniques and FAIMER in Chile. All four colleagues were fascinated by the course and increased their interest in medical education. We are strongly thinking on the organization of a similar meeting in Santiago de Chile, probably next year.

FAIMER President Delivers Plenary at 2006 Medical Education Conference

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FAIMER President, John J. Norcini, Ph.D., was Keynote Speaker at a Plenary Session entitled Future of Assessment Across the Education Continuum at the 2006 Medical Education Conference, held April 29 – May 3 in London, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Norcini presented an overview of assessment in medical education at this year’s conference, which was themed Partnerships for Improving Health Care.

FAIMER President at MedBiquitous

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John J. Norcini, Ph.D., FAIMER President, served as a panelist at the MedBiquitous Consortium Annual Conference, held April 25-27, 2006, in Baltimore, Maryland. During the Self Assessment and Quality Improvement Panel, Dr. Norcini with representatives of the National Board of Medical Examiners discussed innovative uses of self assessment for improving quality of care.