New FAIMER Research Supports Value of Accreditation in Medical Education

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Accreditation of medical schools is generally accepted as important, yet little has been published about its impact. FAIMER Research Scientist Marta van Zanten and FAIMER Director of Research and Data Resources Danette McKinley, along with colleagues Irene Durante Montiel (PHIL 2008) and Concepcion V. Pijano, explore the impact of accreditation in Mexico and the Philippines in their recently published paper:

van Zanten M, McKinley D, Durante Montiel I, Pijano CV. Medical education in Mexico and the Philippines: impact on student outcomes. Medical Education. 2012;46(6):568-592.

Findings in the study support the value of accreditation in medical education. The authors specifically examined the performance of a sample of registrants who took at least one of the three United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) components required for Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certification, along with another sample of registrants who took all three components. All registrants were from Mexico and the Philippines. Results of the study show that, although there were differences in performance between the two countries, first attempt pass rates on all components were higher for individuals attending accredited medical schools from both countries. In addition, a higher success rate in obtaining ECFMG Certification was associated with registrants from accredited schools in the Philippines who took all three components.

By 2023, physicians applying for ECFMG Certification will be required to graduate from a medical school that has been accredited through a formal process that uses criteria comparable to those established for U.S. medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or that uses other globally accepted criteria, such as those put forth by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). For more information on the Medical School Accreditation Requirement for ECFMG Certification, please visit www.ecfmg.org/accreditation.

Marta van Zanten Earns Ph.D. and Examines the Value of Medical School Accreditation

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FAIMER Research Scientist Marta van Zanten graduated in May 2012 from the College of Health Professions and Social Work at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Public Health. The title of her dissertation was “The Association between Medical Education Accreditation and the Examination Performance of Internationally Educated Physicians Seeking Certification in the United States.” Dr. van Zanten investigated the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) first-attempt pass rates of all international medical graduates (IMGs) who took one or more examinations leading to ECFMG Certification from 2006-2010 based on the IMG’s medical school accreditation status. Results showed that overall, IMGs who attended an accredited medical school performed better on examinations compared to their peers from non-accredited schools. Accreditation had the strongest association with USMLE performance for IMGs who attended medical schools located in the Caribbean.

In the second phase of this study, the quality of a select group of accrediting agencies was evaluated according to criteria determined by a panel of experts to be the most salient features of an accreditation system. IMGs who attended medical schools with overall higher quality accreditation systems performed better on two of three USMLE examinations. Specific accreditation criteria were associated with better performance on all three examinations. This study lends some support to the value of accreditation globally by linking these systems to improved student outcomes.

FAIMER Staff Members Appointed to Key Positions in AERA Division I

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FAIMER staff members Jack Boulet, Associate Vice President for Research and Data Resources; Danette McKinley, Director, Research and Data Resources; and Marta van Zanten, Research Associate, have been appointed to key positions in Division I of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Division I – Education in the Professions, is dedicated to promoting research and scholarship in education internationally across professions such as architecture, business, dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and teaching. It furthers its mission by supporting scholarly presentations and publications, providing opportunities for professional growth, enhancing communication and outreach, and promoting educational research to inform policy and practice.

Dr. Boulet is serving as Chair of the Division I Program Committee for the 2012 AERA Annual Meeting. The theme of the meeting is “Satis Scire: To Know Is Not Enough,” and it will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 13-17, 2012. This year, Division I received 119 individual paper and eight symposia submissions. The Division I Program Selection Committee met on October 10, 2011, to discuss and synthesize the many reviews, develop paper session themes, and finalize the program. The program will focus on the development of meaningful educational and assessment programs that go beyond the acquisition and evaluation of knowledge to performance and demonstrated service to the public good.

Dr. McKinley is serving as Co-Chair of the Awards Committee along with Summers Kalishman of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

Ms. van Zanten is serving as Editor of PERQ (Professions Education Research Quarterly), the Division I newsletter. The most recent edition of the newsletter, which is the first edition edited by Ms. van Zanten, can be found here.

FAIMER faculty member Ara Tekian of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine is Vice President of Division I. He was elected to a four-year term beginning in 2009. For more information on AERA Division I, please visit the Division I section of the AERA website.

2010 International Conference in Medical Education

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The 2010 International Conference in Medical Education (ICME) was held December 4-7 at the Yas Island Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The conference theme was “Beyond Flexner: A Roadmap for Excellence in Health Professions Education,” and more than 10 FAIMER faculty members, staff members, and Fellows participated, serving as conference organizers, advisors, workshop facilitators, keynote speakers, discussants, and poster presenters. The Fundamentals of Assessment in Medical Education (FAME) course was facilitated by FAIMER Associate Vice President for Research and Data Resources John R. Boulet, Ph.D., FAIMER President and CEO John J. Norcini, Ph.D., and FAIMER Institute faculty member Ara Tekian, Ph.D., M.H.P.E., Associate Professor and Director of International Affairs in the Department of Medical Education and Associate Dean of International Affairs at the College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago. Drs. Boulet, Norcini, and Tekian also served as keynote speakers, and Dr. Tekian served as a member of the ICME 2010 Executive Committee. A pre-conference workshop on qualitative research methods was facilitated by FAIMER faculty member Janet Grant, Ph.D., Professor of Education in Medicine at The Open University, United Kingdom. For more information on ICME 2010, visit http://www.icme.org/.

Academic Medicine Announces Publication of Its First eBook

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Academic Medicine has announced publication of its first eBook, developed using articles that were featured in the February 2010 issue as chapters. This issue, marking the 100th anniversary of the Flexner Report, contains 27 articles about Abraham Flexner and his legacy, including two articles co-authored by FAIMER staff and Fellows:

Relevance of the Flexner Report to Contemporary Medical Education in South Asia
Zubair Amin, Deputy Head, Medical Education Unit, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
William P. Burdick, FAIMER Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute
Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002), Director of the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute
Tejinder Singh (PHIL 2003), Director of the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute

Flexner’s Global Influence: Medical Education Accreditation in Countries that Train Physicians Who Pursue Residency in the United States
Marta van Zanten, FAIMER Research Associate
John R. Boulet, FAIMER Associate Vice President for Research and Data Resources
Frank A. Simon, FAIMER Senior Scholar

The eBook is free to download and is formatted to two types of file: an epub file for iPads, Nooks, and Sony eReaders; and a prc file for the Kindle. To access the eBook, visit the Announcements section of the Academic Medicine website: http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/pages/default.aspx.

2010 Richard Farrow Gold Medal Awarded to FAIMER President John Norcini

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FAIMER President John J. Norcini, Ph.D., was awarded the 2010 Richard Farrow Gold Medal at the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) 2010 Scientific Meeting, “Medical Education: Innovation in a Traditional World,” which took place July 21-23, at Robinson College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. The Richard Farrow Gold Medal was established to recognize and honor individuals for their contributions to the goals of ASME, which include: promoting high quality research into medical education, providing opportunities for developing medical educators, disseminating good evidence-based educational practice, informing and advising governmental and other organizations on medical education matters, and developing relationships with other organizations and groupings in health care education.

Second International Seminar “Frontiers of Medical Education,” Recife, Brazil

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The Second International Seminar “Frontiers of Medical Education: Relevant Research Issues in Postgraduate Medical Education” took place May 28-30, 2010, at Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando Figueira in Recife, Brazil. The seminar focused on reflection, change, and the systemization of scientific experiments in medical education between national and international research centers, and included multiple workshops, panel discussions, and poster presentations. In attendance at the seminar were FAIMER President and CEO John J. Norcini, Ph.D., FAIMER faculty member Stewart P. Mennin, Ph.D., and several FAIMER Fellows. FAIMER-Brasil was among the seminar’s sponsoring organizations.

New Textbook on Medical Education

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Presented by the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME), Understanding Medical Education: Evidence, Theory and Practice is a new, comprehensive textbook on medical education scheduled to be available from Wiley-Blackwell publishers in August 2010. Edited by Tim Swanwick, Director of Professional Development in the London Deanery, Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Education, and Visiting Professor of Medical Education at the University of Bedfordshire, the book is designed to be an accessible reference for students and practitioners of medical education at all levels: from undergraduates to those pursuing continuing professional development.

Understanding Medical Education includes chapters on teaching and learning, problem-based learning, personal development, e-learning, mentoring, group encounters, simulation, test design, research, assessment, and leadership, among others. Also included are three chapters contributed by FAIMER staff and faculty:

“Principles of Curriculum Design”
Janet Grant (Professor of Education in Medicine at The Open University, FAIMER faculty member)

“Workplace Assessment”
John Norcini (FAIMER President and Chief Executive Officer)

“Structured Assessments of Clinical Competence”
Kathy Boursicot, Trudie Roberts, and Bill Burdick (FAIMER Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute)

For more information, including a complete table of contents, please visit http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405196807.html.

2010 Medical Education Day at University of Michigan Medical School

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FAIMER Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute William Burdick, M.D., M.S.Ed., attended the University of Michigan Medical School’s Annual Medical Education Day on June 8, 2010, where he gave a presentation on the subject of capacity building in international health professions education. Dr. Burdick’s presentation focused on individual capacity building through active learning, and system capacity building through diffusion of information and leadership development; both are key aspects of developing health professions education around the world. While there, Dr. Burdick met with Larry D. Gruppen, Ph.D., Josiah Macy, Jr. Professor of Education and Chair, Department of Medicine; Joseph Kolars, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives; and Patricia Mullan, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Medical Education, to discuss possible collaborations between FAIMER and the University of Michigan.

Marta van Zanten Wins RIME Outstanding Paper Award

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FAIMER Research Associate Marta van Zanten, Ph.D. (cand.), is the recipient of the 2009 Research in Medical Education (RIME) Outstanding Paper Award for the paper, “Medical Education in the Caribbean: Variability in Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Certification Rates and United States Medical Licensing Examination Attempts,” co-authored by FAIMER Associate Vice President for Research and Data Resources John Boulet, Ph.D. The award will be presented on November 9, 2010, at the RIME Invited Address session at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington, DC.

The paper is the result of research that investigated demographic characteristics and performance outcomes of physicians who received their undergraduate medical education in the Caribbean. The research included almost 20,000 students/graduates who registered for an exam leading to Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification. United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) attempts and ECFMG certification rates (from 1996 to January 21, 2009) were summarized by country of medical school. Results showed that the proportions of females and non-U.S. citizens attending medical schools in the Caribbean are increasing. Average exam attempts for certified individuals ranged, by country of medical school, from 1.19 to 2.84 for the USMLE Step 1 exam, from 1.20 to 2.13 for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) component, and from 1.01 to 1.42 for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) component and ECFMG Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA). Approximately 14,000 (74.2%) individuals achieved certification, and success rates ranged, by country, from 19.1% to 91.5%. These results highlight the significant variability in performance of Caribbean-educated physicians.