In August 2007, the Directors and key faculty members of FAIMER’s five Regional Institutes came together in Philadelphia for the first time for a five-day Directors and Faculty of FAIMER Regional Institutes (DAFFRI) program that included strategic planning activities and teaching skills development sessions. One of the outcomes of this meeting was a decision and an action plan to provide further faculty development opportunities in the regions. The first realization of this goal took place in December 2007 at Christian Medical College, Ludhiana (CMCL) in India.
Director of the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute, Tejinder Singh, and his team initially planned a one-day workshop to provide opportunities for teaching practice and constructive feedback to session presenters from the faculties of any of the FAIMER Regional Institutes in India. However, the idea generated so much interest that the format was expanded to give other faculty who had not previously been exposed to a FAIMER program an opportunity to participate. A total of 33 faculty members from six medical schools enrolled in the workshop, 11 of whom presented teaching practice sessions on topics from the regional institute curriculum over the course of two days.
Throughout the sessions, presenters made deliberate attempts to showcase a number of adult learning principles and interactive teaching techniques. Methods employed included a variety of discussions, role-plays, and group work formats. The scope of the feedback covered not only the presentation skills of the session leader but also the syllabus, reading materials, and visual aids that accompanied the presentation.
Director Tejinder Singh commented that he was particularly impressed by the superb time management that characterized the execution of the program, as it finished exactly on time at the end of the second day. According to Tejinder, this remarkable achievement had nothing to do with the planned shopping excursion immediately following the workshop. The event was such a great success that CMCL is already planning an encore faculty development workshop for the spring of 2008.