Fifteen Directors and faculty of FAIMER’s Regional Institutes (FRIs) and five staff members from FAIMER’s Education department gathered August 26–28, 2009, in Malaga, Spain, for the 3rd annual DAFFRI meeting. This year’s site was chosen to provide the attendees with an opportunity to participate in the Association for Medical Education in Europe’s (AMEE) 2009 international conference for medical educators, which took place immediately after the meeting. A large majority of the DAFFRI participants also contributed to AMEE 2009 with poster presentations, short communications, or as panel discussants.
The theme of the DAFFRI meeting, “FAIMER Regional Institutes: Progress, Growth, and Innovation,” was chosen to highlight the substantial developments that have occurred since the first FRI was introduced in Mumbai, India, in 2005, and to give each of the five current programs a forum for sharing creative ideas and lessons learned.
The distinctive situation, character, and accomplishments of each FRI were highlighted in initial presentations by the Directors, which led, in turn, to the identification of common successes and challenges. Day 1 featured topical discussions in small groups to address these common issues. All of the FRIs were represented in each group. Day 2 included work in teams organized by geographical area to create five-year visions for the FRI programs in Africa, India, and Latin America. Following up on all this work, the final afternoon was devoted to convening interest groups on cross-cutting ideas in areas with high potential for future collaboration and cross-fertilization among the programs, such as research, scholarship, evaluation, and faculty development.