13th Ottawa International Conference on Clinical Competence

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The 13th Ottawa International Conference on Clinical Competence was held March 5-8, 2008 in Melbourne, Australia. Australians, famous for their ubiquitous slang, call their country “Oz,” and therefore this conference has from the initial planning stages affectionately been referred to as “Ozzawa.” Melbourne, pronounced “Mel-bin” by the locals, is the capital of the state of Victoria and is situated on the picturesque tree-lined banks of the Yarra River. Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city with a unique balance of graceful old and new architecture surrounded by parks and gardens.

The conference was organized by three overarching and interacting themes: The Life of the Patient, The Life of the Professional, and The Life of the Program. The scientific program was large and varied, and included six renowned invited speakers, 17 pre-conference workshops, more than 450 oral presentations, 26 symposia, 29 workshops, and 300 posters.

FAIMER was well represented at the conference. Dr. John Norcini presented a short communication overview of an assessment of FAIMER education programs entitled Evaluation of an International Education Leadership Fellowship Program and participated as a speaker in two symposia: Reporting the UK Foundation Assessment Programme and Novel Assessments and Services for Medical Schools, Students and Professionals: A Perspective from Several Organizations. Dr. Norcini also co-conducted two workshops: Mini-CEX – How it Works in Surgery? Is it a General Method for Work Based Assessment? and Medical Education Databases. Dr. John Boulet presented a full-length paper entitled Setting Performance Standards for Mannequin-Based Acute-Care Scenarios: An Examinee Centered Approach. FAIMER and the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) organized a symposium entitled International Recognition and Accreditation of Medical Schools’ Programmes. As part of this symposium, Marta van Zanten presented on Gathering Accreditation Data: The FAIMER Directory of Organizations that Recognize / Accredit Medical Schools. Dr. Norcini moderated this symposium, which also contained presentations by WFME, the Australian Medical Council, and Harbin Medical University in China.

In addition to these presentations by FAIMER staff, Mobeen Iqbal, FAIMER Institute class of 2007, of Shifa College of Medicine in Pakistan, gave two presentations, Medical Students’ Perceptions of Teaching Evaluationsand Health Related Quality of Life in a Pakistan Medical School; and Enoch Kwizera, FAIMER Institute class of 2007, of Walter Sisulu University in South Africa, co-authored the poster Evaluating Students’ Generic Learning Skills Early in their Undergraduate Careers – Valuable for Course Organisers?.

The “Ozzawa” conference, the first Ottawa conference to be hosted in Australia, was an excellent opportunity for FAIMER to present its work to an international audience. Additional information can be found on the conference website.

(posted April 10, 2008; updated May 6, 2008)