The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)–Iran Joint International Congress on Implementation of WFME Standards in Undergraduate Medical Education took place on Kish Island, Iran, from November 6-9, 2008. The conference was organized by Elaheh Malakan Rad (PSG 2007), Chair of the Secretariat for Undergraduate Medical Education, and conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran. There were more than 500 participants from 48 universities in Iran, as well as 16 presenters representing eight countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Themes of the congress included Standards and Accreditation, Curriculum and Curricular Reforms, and Assessment and Evaluation.
More than 80 lectures and 200 posters were presented over the course of the four days. In addition to the more formal lectures and workshops held at the congress, two informal “Meet the Experts” sessions were held to provide participants with the opportunity to ask questions of keynote lecturers and network with prominent members of the health professions education community. Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002), Director of the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute; Janet Grant, Director of the Centre for Education in Medicine at the Open University in the United Kingdom and Senior Mentor at the Philadelphia FAIMER Institute; and Thomas Chacko (PHIL 2004), Director of the PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute, served as experts in these sessions and contributed to the congress as workshop leaders and presenters.
Dr. Supe led a workshop on “How to Get Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals” and gave talks on “Accreditation of Medical Schools in India: Lessons Learned from Indian Experiences” and “Competency-based Surgical Education.” Prof. Grant led an international workshop on “Distance Learning” and gave talks on “Curriculum and Quality in Medical Education” and “Program Evaluation.” Dr. Chacko led workshops on “Academic Leadership” and “Accreditation in Undergraduate Medical Education” and lectured on “Faculty Development: The Need for a Comprehensive Approach.” Dr. Malakan Rad added to her contributions with a lecture on “Standard Setting in Examinations.”
Dr. Supe praised the work of Dr. Malakan Rad in coordinating the event and noted that “the enthusiasm of participants and [contributors] was beyond expectations.” He indicated that the impact of the congress on health professions education in Iran should be far-reaching. Professor Bahram Einollahi, Deputy Minister of Educational Affairs and Chair of the Congress, formally acknowledged the guidance of both Prof. Janet Grant and John Norcini, President and CEO of FAIMER, in making the congress a success.