The Network: Towards Unity for Health (The Network: TUFH) 2010 Conference was held November 13-17 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The theme of this year’s conference was “Advancing Quality through Partnerships of Health Professions Education and Health Services Institutions.” Participating institutions and individuals had opportunities to share approaches and innovations with each other through: a workshop that invited them to reflect on their stories through appreciative inquiry, led by Thomas Chacko (PHIL 2004) and Marina Thomas (IFME 2004); another that encouraged involvement of students in change management, led by Rashmi Vyas (PHIL 2003), Anshu (CMCL 2007, PHIL 2009), and Payal Bansal (PHIL 2007); as well as one on use of standardized patients in student assessment, led by Jack Boulet, Associate Vice President for Research and Data Resources. FAIMER Fellows Shital Bhandary (PSG 2008) and Shambhu Upadhyay (GSMC 2009) organized a visit to Patan Academy of Health Sciences, where participants walked through the problem-based learning rooms and viewed the communications center where rural doctors phone in consultations. Attendees also had an opportunity to participate in a post-conference excursion to B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal, a more rural setting featuring strong community-based programs.
More than 30 FAIMER faculty, staff, and Fellows participated in the conference, serving as conference organizers, presenters, workshop facilitators, and discussants. Two Fellows, Sarah Kiguli (PHIL 2004) and Francisco (Pacho) Lamus Lemus (PHIL 2009), are also members of The Network: TUFH Executive Committee. FAIMER Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute William P. Burdick gave one of four keynote presentations, entitled “The Link between Health Professions Education and Health.” Dinesh Badyal (PHIL 2009) received the award for best poster for “Profile of Participants in a National Faculty Development Program in India.” Dr. Anshu remarked after returning from the conference that, “It was wonderful to see such a large gathering of FAIMER Fellows from around the world” and it “felt nice to see most posters reflect the FAIMER philosophy.”