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Issue Two - September 29, 2003

The FAIMER International Fellowships in Medical Education (IFME), and The FAIMER Short-Term Exchange Fellowships (STEF)

FAIMER has been added to the name of the IFME and STEF programs to show that they have fully transitioned to FAIMER. The programs are now called The FAIMER International Fellowships in Medical Education and The FAIMER Short-Term Exchange Fellowships. While the names of the programs have changed, the acronyms, IFME and STEF, remain the same.

Fellowships were awarded in February 2003 to six Fellows (five for IFME and one for STEF). The IFME fellows are from the following regions:

The STEF awardee is from:

IFME applications and STEF proposals were not solicited this year. Instead, this year is being used to unify some of the IFME/STEF processes and procedures with those of the FAIMER Institute. One of the first changes is to the IFME and Institute applications. We are developing an interactive, web-based application and database that will store data from the web-based application. It is anticipated that the interactive, web-based application and database will be fully functioning in late October 2003.

Fellowship staff is also working with FAIMER Research staff on surveys to former Fellows, and former and current U.S. mentors.

Eighty-seven former fellows responded to the fellows survey mailed in mid-December 2002. The survey was mailed again in August to a total of 169 former fellows who reside outside of the United States: 150 were to fellows who were sent, but did not respond to, the December 2002 mailing; 19 were sent the survey for the first time. The survey is also available on the IFME web page.

The purpose of the mentors survey is to:

Staff expects to send the survey to mentors in September 2003.

The FAIMER Institute

New Initiatives

The FAIMER Institute is pleased to announce two new initiatives: Global Faculty Advisors and Building Regional Medical Education Networks.

Global Faculty Advisors: Four Fellows from the Institute Class of 2001 have been selected to serve as Global Faculty Advisors for the October 2003 - 2004 program year.

Serving in this role beginning in October 2003 are:

The goals of this newly established faculty role are to:

  1. enhance the FAIMER Institute through involvement of active alumni as on-site and on-line faculty;
  2. facilitate development of the global network of medical educators associated with the Institute;
  3. provide continuing career development for Institute fellows through international recognition, continued involvement and educational learning, and modest honoraria for unrestricted support of their professional development; and
  4. provide informal feedback, as major stakeholders, to Institute staff.

All four Global Faculty Advisors will return to Philadelphia in the Fall for part of the combined class session. Their faculty role is to:

  1. co-facilitate sessions on Building Mentoring Partnerships with the Institute 2002 and 2003 Fellows;
  2. critique three medical education projects of Institute 2004 Fellows, individually and in the final group discussion session;
  3. participate in the preparation, presentation and discussion sessions of the poster session for the Institute 2003 Fellows; and
  4. participate in the International Medical Education Day. The focus this year is on international networking.

During the intersession period, the Advisors will:

  1. provide substantial supportive on-going critique for three medical education projects of the FAIMER Institute 2003 Fellows;
  2. be active faculty on the FAIMER Institute listserv, contributing as appropriate to the general discussions and other project reports; and
  3. be a sounding board for the Institute's co-directors.

All four Advisors began their involvement with FAIMER as a Fellow of the inaugural Institute Class of 2001. Their careers have certainly been positively affected by their involvement. Highlights are listed below:

Vanessa Burch, MBBch, Mmed, University of Cape Town (UCT), FCP (SC)

Dr. Burch, whose interest in medical education started when she first became involved in undergraduate teaching as a junior resident in the early 1990’s, has grown increasingly involved in medical education, most recently, she says, because of her involvement in the Institute.

After completing the Institute 2001 program, Dr. Burch was appointed director of the MD program at UCT at the beginning of 2003. This program is currently undergoing major restructuring, and the challenges of this new task are huge. In addition to this strategic leadership role, she also convenes the Internal Medicine residency program at UCT and serves on the council of the College of Physicians of South Africa.

In July of this year, Dr. and her current FAIMER mentee, Dr. Elizabeth Wasserman (Stellenbosch University), presented Dr. Wasserman’s FAIMER project, on which they had worked together, at an international conference on higher education in Cape Town. Dr. Burch presented a poster on her own FAIMER educational project at the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) meeting in Switzerland in September 2003

Boaz Otieno-Nyunya, MD, MEd, Moi University

In January 2003 Dr. Otieno-Nyunya was appointed Chairman, Department of Reproductive Health. He has continued to be involved in Medical Education in Kenya and in the East African region. He is Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Problem based approaches to Health Professionals’ Training and Public Health Practice, and also the Chair of the Clinical Division.

Dr. Nyunya just concluded a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded partnership grant on Comprehensive Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS. This program report was presented in Washington, DC in August 2003. It has also leveraged into the current program in which Dr. Nyunya is involved, which includes serving as Program Director of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In this program he will also train and follow-up with Traditional Birth Attendants in PMTCT. Dr. Nyunya is a co-principal investigator in a PMTCT-Plus grant (one of 11 sites worldwide).

Ana Lia Vargas, MD, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo

Dr. Vargas has started lecturing in medical genetics for a postgraduate specialization course on lung diseases. She is also a member of the clinical skills assessment committee and is active on the third year global examination committee.

Since joining the FAIMER Institute, Dr. Vargas has done work in clinical genetics and human cytogenetics in the Institute of Genetics of her medical school. Her research projects include a protocol for detection of patients with abnormal gonadal development.

To obtain her master’s degree in medical education, she is working on the medical genetics core curriculum: a proposal for the school of medical sciences.

Dr. Vargas also served as an advisor for a faculty member’s education project on the use of clinical cases in the teaching of basic sciences.

She has also received a research grant from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo for identification of the essential clinical competencies in graduates and appropriate assessment instruments.

Her poster, elaboration and validation of cases used in the OSCE, was presented at a national meeting on medical education in 2002.

Anand Zachariah, MD, PhD, Christian Medical College

Dr. Zachariah is Professor in Medicine at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. His areas of academic interest are medical education, clinical infectious disease and acute organophosphate poisoning.

His current posts in medical education, all at Christian Medical College, include: Secretary of the Medical Education Cell, Coordinator of the Problem-based Learning Program, and Course Organizer of a HIV Physician training program.

In undergraduate medical education, he has been involved in initiating and coordinating the clerkship, problem based learning, and secondary hospital programs at Christian Medical College. He has also facilitated a process of curriculum evaluation of the undergraduate medicine course through student feedback and departmental curriculum review.

In postgraduate medical education, Dr. Zachariah has developed a one year training program for HIV physicians at secondary level hospitals using a combination of contact courses, distance learning and project work. This course attempts to link training with improved HIV care at the level of these secondary hospitals. This course has been developed along with the Population Council and Open University Centre for Medical Education and Research, using many of the design principles and tools of the FAIMER Institute.

He is also involved in clinical and laboratory studies investigating the biochemical mechanisms underlying the development of neuroparalysis in acute organophosphate poisoning.

Congratulations to all four Fellows for their enthusiastic participation in the Institute.

Building Regional Medical Education Networks: To explore development of regional medical education networks and to enhance the networks established during the FAIMER Institute, FAIMER has awarded two grants to graduates of the Institute 2001 class.

Ana Vargas, M.D., Assistant Professor on Medical Genetics, Facultad de Ciencias Medicas, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, and Anand Zachariah, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, have each been granted $500 awards to support their medical education proposals.

Dr. Vargas will organize a seminar aimed at acquainting Argentinean medical faculty working in the clinical years with the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). The seminar will be held December 9 - 12, 2003 at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo.

Dr. Zachariah will organize a conference for health professional educators in India. Participants will discuss their work as they examine the requirements for medical education to better address the health care needs of the country. The main aim of the conference is to enable health professional educators to present innovations and curricular changes in their institutions. The two day conference will be held in July 2004 at Christian Medical College.

Applications are still open for awards to be made between July 2003 and December 2003 to alumni of FAIMER Institute 2001. Proposals should demonstrate several, if not all, of the following features:

  1. leveraging the limited award funds by expanding on existing meetings or events;
  2. including Fellows from other FAIMER Institutes and fellowship programs; and
  3. including the interaction of individuals from different medical schools, government health or education ministries and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
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Institute 2003 Fellows

FAIMER is pleased to announce that the following applicants have been selected to participate in the Institute 2003 class, which will commence in October 2003 in Philadelphia.

Eliana Amaral, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Universidade Estadual De Campinas, Brazil
Sekelani Banda, B.Sc., M.B.Ch.B., M.Sc., M.Med. Department of Medical Education Development, University of Zambia, Zambia
Elena Barragan, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Biomedicine, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Argentina
Solomon Genet, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. Department of Biochemistry, Jimma University, Ethiopia
Muhammad Z. Khan, M.D. Center for Medical Education, Baqai Medical & Dental College, Pakistan
Ahuka Ona Longombe, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Surgery, Universite De Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Samuel Luboga, M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., Ph.D. Department of Anatomy, Makerere University, Uganda
Charles Mkony, M.D., M.Med. Department of Surgery, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, Tanzania
Vivek Saoji, M.B.B.S., M.S. Department of Surgery, Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College, India
Tejinder Singh, M.B.B.S., M.D., PGDHE Department of Pediatrics, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India
Huseyin Cahit Taskiran, M.D. Department of Medical Education, Dokuz Eylul Universitesi, Turkey
Rashmi Vyas, M.B.B.S., M.D. Department of Physiology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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News From Other Organizations

The Society of Directors of Research in Medical Education (SDRME)

SDRME invites current and past participants of the International Fellowships in Medical Education and the FAIMER Institute to visit the SDRME website at www.sdrme.org and become familiar with the programs and services of SDRME. The Society has an international membership that is dedicated to enhancing the quality of education in medical schools. It is composed of directors of units with responsibility for educational research, evaluation, and program development. The Society promotes:

The SDRME website is freely accessible and provides valuable information on the medical education offices of its members. At the site you will find a directory of all members, web links to their respective office websites, and the results of a biennial membership survey that includes data in the areas of: scholarship, academic programs, service areas, funding, organizational structure, and personnel.

If you are the administrative head of a unit of medical education, you may be interested in joining the Society to participate in the member discussion listserv and the meetings. The annual meeting is held during the summer in North America and the fall meeting is held at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). International members are asked to pay annual dues of $25.

Membership is not required to take advantage of the information posted on the SDRME website. Please feel free to contact Elaine Dannefer, PhD if you have questions about the Society. Dr. Dannefer may be reached at:

Chair, International Committee, SDRME
Director of Medical Education Research and Evaluation
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine /NA24
9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44195 USA

Phone: 216-445-1058
Email: dannefe@ccf.org
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A View of the World's Medical Schools - Defining New Roles

A View of the World’s Medical Schools - Defining New Roles, a report of a survey initiated and organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters office in Geneva, Switzerland, is authored by Dr. Charles Boelen, MD, MPH, MSc, International consultant in health systems and personnel and former coordinator of the WHO Program of Human Resources for Health, and Markley H. Boyer, MD, DPhil, MPH, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, Tufts University of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The report and accompanying data and graphs present a review of specific information on current aspects of the functioning of a majority of the world’s medical schools and includes sections on the schools’ mission, student population, faculty, curricula, career paths, relationships with the community and other health-oriented groups, as well as observations pertaining to the role of medical schools in the world today and their influence on the health of the public. General recommendations for modifications in the formal education of physicians are included. The data, while dependent on the responses of individual institutions, is based on an extensive, WHO-initiated questionnaire submitted by Ministers of Health and medical schools. It represents the best information available today.

The full report can be viewed on the following websites: Tufts University School of Medicine (www.tufts.edu/med/gpph/Events/world_medical_education.html) and The Network (www.the-networktufh.org). Specific questions and comments on the information contained in the report are welcomed by the authors.

Charles Boelen, MD, MPH, MSc
Markley H. Boyer, MD, DPhil, MPH
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The Network: Towards Unity for Health

FAIMER is a member of The Network: Towards Unity for Health, a global network of individuals and groups, institutions and organizations committed to improving the health of communities. The Network: Towards Unity for Health is a non-governmental organization in official relationship with the World Health Organization.

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Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research
3624 Market Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685


FAIMER Institute: Lisa Johnson, Program Manager
Email: faimerinstitute@faimer.org; Voice: 215-823-2213; Fax: 215-386-3309

IFME and STEF Programs: Shirley Williams, Manager
Email: ifme@faimer.org; Voice: 215-823-2105; Fax: 215-966-3121

IMED: Carole Bede, Senior Research Analyst
Email: imed@faimer.org; Fax: 215-386-9767

Research: Danette McKinley, Ph.D., Research Scientist
Email: meded@faimer.org; Fax: 215-386-2321
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[last update: July 5, 2006]