New Distance Learning Diploma Program in Health Professions Education to be Conducted in Arabic

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The International Center for Training in Medical Education and Distance Learning of the Medical Education Department, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University (MED-FOM-SCU), in Ismailia, Egypt, in partnership with the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO-EMRO), will soon offer a Distance Learning Diploma Program in Health Professions Education for speakers of Arabic. MED-FOM-SCU will administer the program, and WHO-EMRO will provide funding for development of a website for the program, including an online, distance learning “blackboard” interface, as well as funding for individual educators to participate. Registration is expected to open on December 1, 2011.

FAIMER faculty member Wagdy Talaat (PHIL 2007), Professor and Head of MED-FOM-SCU and Senior Consultant to WHO-EMRO, is spearheading development of the Arabic program, which is an outgrowth of MED-FOM-SCU’s Diploma of Health Professions Education, a distance learning program conducted in English. The English program was established by Professor Talaat as part of his FAIMER educational innovation project, and it currently attracts more than 100 Egyptian health professions educators each year. Professor Talaat was also instrumental in the development of the Joint Master of Health Professions Education, which is offered by MED-FOM-SCU in collaboration with Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and the Joint Diploma of Health Professions Education by Distance Learning, a program that serves educators from Iraq and which is offered by MED-FOM-SCU in partnership with Lahaye University in the Netherlands.

Professor Talaat mentions that there is still much work to be completed before the new Arabic program can be launched. In particular, course materials from the diploma program in English must be translated into Arabic, a challenging task that WHO-EMRO is managing. In addition, certain components of the program, such as case studies and examples, must be provided with an Arabic context to make them more relevant to participants. Despite these challenges, all parties eagerly anticipate launching on schedule. Professor Talaat in particular looks forward to sharing FAIMER’s mission and educational methods with an entirely new group of health professions educators in the Mediterranean Region. For more information on the program, e-mail medfomscu@yahoo.com.