Each year the FAIMER Institute devotes one day to exploring a specific theme in international medical education (IME). This year, IME Day focused on FAIMER itself, celebrating the organization’s first 10 years and developing priorities for the next 10 years of growth. On October 19, approximately 80 participants from 17 countries gathered for discussion and engaged in group activities. Participants included Fellows and faculty of the 2009 and 2010 FAIMER Institutes, Board and staff members from FAIMER and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), and other guests.
The group took time to recognize the special contributions of the directors and faculty of the FAIMER Regional Institutes, and used concurrent small group discussions to identify the role that FAIMER has played in Fellows’ professional lives and describe how it has served as a catalyst for change.
Leslie Crutchfield, coauthor of Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, delivered a keynote address that provided a foundation for small group work. Ms. Crutchfield outlined the six practices: Serve and Advocate, Make Markets Work, Inspire Evangelists, Nurture Nonprofit Networks, Master the Art of Adaptation, and Share Leadership; and then led participants in high-engagement activities that asked them to apply these principles to FAIMER.
FAIMER’s Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute, William Burdick, M.D., M.S.Ed., encouraged participants to “think big” during their small group discussions regarding FAIMER’s future. Representatives from each group reported back to the larger group, and Ms. Crutchfield was given an opportunity to provide input on each. Before leaving, participants were asked to fill out a card with one “big idea” that they believed FAIMER should focus on for the future.
The deadline for applications to the FAIMER Institute has been extended to January 15. Health professions educators from all fields, including medical, dental, nursing, physical therapy, and pharmacy schools, are encouraged to apply.
Each year at the FAIMER Institute in Philadelphia, a day is devoted to exploring a key theme in international medical education (IME). This year, IME Day focused specifically on the interaction between academic institutions and governments in “Human Capacity Building in the Health Professions.” On October 22, approximately 80 participants from 15 countries took part in discussion and high-engagement group activities centered on the academic and governmental relationships in four countries: Brazil, India, Pakistan, and South Africa. Each of the countries was represented by health care experts from both government and health professions education. They included:
Henry Campos, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Vice Rector, Universidad Federal do Ceará, and Co-Director of the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute. Dr. Campos represented both the government and health professions education points of view.
Abraham Thomas, M.S., M.A.M.S., M.Ch., Professor, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Microsurgery, and Director, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana
Vedprakash Mishra, M.D., Vice Chancellor, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences University, Nagpur, and Vice Chair, Academic Cell, Medical Council of India
Jamsheer Talati, M.B.B.S., Professor of Surgery and former Associate Dean for Education, The Aga Khan University
Ahmed Nadeem Akbar, Registrar, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council
Beth Engelbrecht, M.D., Deputy Director General, Western Cape Provincial Department of Health
Wynand van der Merwe, M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., M.D., Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University
FAIMER’s Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute, William Burdick, M.D., M.S.Ed., encouraged participants to explore pragmatic strategies for aligning government and health professions education to address health care challenges, especially those involving faculty development and capacity building. Ideas included setting up low-risk meetings between education and government officials to encourage dialogue; pooling resources and exploring opportunities for joint funding of needed programs; using FAIMER Regional Institutes as a meeting ground for stakeholders; integrating the training of different types of health care workers; training health care workers at the local level; and aligning academic research, data gathering, and data presentation with the requirements of government to obtain funding and support for needed programs. An important theme throughout the discussion was that a common vision for health care improvement, shared by government and health professions education, can drive change and bring about needed improvements.
In addition to the representatives from the four focus countries, participants in IME Day included Fellows and faculty of the 2008 and 2009 FAIMER Institutes, staff members from FAIMER and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), and other guests, including ECFMG President Emeritus and FAIMER Senior Scholar James A. Hallock, M.D.; Director of the Division of Graduate Medical Education of the American Medical Association, Paul H. Rockey, M.D., M.P.H.; and FAIMER Directors Philip L. Gildenberg, M.D., Ram R. Krishna, M.D., Donald O. Nutter, M.D., and Sharon Wood-Dauphinee, Ph.D.
Feedback from the day was very positive. Participants were impressed by the range of ideas that could be generated in a single day through focused, cross-cultural exchange. In a closing panel discussion, the representatives from the four countries each expressed gratitude for the opportunity to learn different approaches from the others, which they could take back to their own regions and use to improve the coordination of government and health professions education in efforts to improve health care.
Sixteen international health professions educators who represent academic institutions from 11 countries around the world arrived in Philadelphia on October 3, 2009, to begin their first session as Fellows of the 2009 FAIMER Institute.
The FAIMER Institute fellowship program is designed for international health professions educators who have the potential to play key leadership roles at their schools. The program serves two main purposes: (1) provide participants with the tools and skills to serve as resources for their individual institutions, and (2) create an environment for cross-cultural exchange of educational expertise and experiences. The ultimate goal is to improve the health of local communities through local and regional improvements to health professions education programs.
On October 18, the 2009 Fellows were joined by the 2008 Fellows, returning to Philadelphia to complete their final residential session. These opportunities for interaction between classes of Fellows support the development of a community of international health professions educators dedicated to the improvement of health professions education and the health of communities.
In addition to the new Fellows, the FAIMER Institute also welcomed new faculty member James BonTempo, Learning Technology Advisor for Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University that develops “effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services for women and their families.” Mr. BonTempo’s teaching interests include tools and channels for distance learning. Returning to the Institute as faculty members were James A. Hallock, M.D., President Emeritus of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and former Chair of the FAIMER Board of Directors, and Dale Dauphinee, M.D., former Executive Director of the Medical Council of Canada and professor at McGill University.
Following are the 2009 FAIMER Institute Fellows:
Dr. Anshu, M.D., M.B.B.S., Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, India
Rukhsana Aslam, M.B.B.S., Lahore Medical and Dental College, Lahore, Pakistan
Dinesh Badyal, M.B.B.S., M.D., Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India
Janet Bloomfield, M.D., Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile
Andrea Dávila-Cervantes, M.D., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
Martha Delgado, M.Sc., M.D., Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia
Rosiane Diniz, M.D., Ph.D., Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil