The annual conference of The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) took place in Bogotá, Colombia, from September 27 to October 2, 2008. FAIMER staff and Fellows played an active role at the conference. FAIMER staff included John R. Boulet, Associate Vice President for Research and Data Resources, and William Burdick, Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute. FAIMER Fellows included Elena Barragan (PHIL 2003), Mary Bermudez-Gomez (PHIL 2007), Ivan Solarte (PHIL 2007), Paulo Carvalho (PHIL 2006), Sarah Kiguli (PHIL 2004), Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde (PHIL 2005), and Samuel Maling (SAFRI 2008).
Prior to the conference, Dr. Burdick led a workshop on educational objectives for the faculty at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. The workshop was conducted to support the work of Drs. Bermudez-Gomez and Solarte, who are leading a major curriculum restructuring effort at the school. Approximately 50 faculty members from the School of Medicine took part in the practicum and worked in teams to create educational objectives and develop related student assessment methods.
On September 27, a pre-conference workshop was held on research methods in medical education. Drs. Burdick and Boulet presented an introduction to research methods along with Dr. Bermudez-Gomez and Donald Pathman, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Education for Health, the peer-reviewed journal of The Network: TUFH, and Professor and Research Director at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Participants in the workshop then developed research questions relevant to projects at their own institutions, and designed research strategies to address those questions. Participants came from Argentina, Colombia, India, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, Sudan, and Uganda.