In support of an ongoing effort to revitalize health professions education at the B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal, Bishnu Hari Paudel (PHIL 2007), Soumya Bhattacharya (PHIL 2005), and Shyamal Bhattacharya (PHIL 2006) led a workshop at the Institute on “Effective Teaching Learning Methods and Related Aspects,” from December 7 to 12, 2008. Thirty-four health professions educators from five institutions in Nepal participated in sessions on such topics as program evaluation, changing curricula to meet local needs, effective teaching practices, problem-based learning, conflict management, and change management. Educators from outside of Nepal were invited to serve as faculty; included among those contributing was Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002), Director of the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute in Mumbai, India.
An Appreciative Inquiry approach was practiced throughout the workshop and a great deal of emphasis was placed on teamwork. Sessions were designed to encourage broad active participation. Goals of the workshop included not only the continued improvement of health professions education at the B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, but also continued development throughout Nepal, and the fostering of a network of health professions educators across the country. Feedback from participants was positive. The workshop was considered a great success, and there was much interest expressed in conducting similar activities in the future.
Four FAIMER Institute Fellows played prominent roles at the 6th Biennial Conference of the Asia-Pacific Association on Problem-Based Learning in Health Sciences (APA-PHS), which took place October 15-16, 2008, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Debra Sim (PHIL 2007), Professor at the University of Malaya, served on the conference organizing committee as Co-Chair, and Christina Tan (PHIL 2005), Director of the Medical Education & Research Development Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, served as Secretary. Both were also members of the APA-PHS Executive Committee, along with Nor Azila Mohd Adnan (PHIL 2002), Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Malaya. Vanessa Burch (PHIL 2001), Associate Professor, Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Co-Director of the Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute, contributed as a plenary speaker on the subject of assessment.
The theme of the APA-PHS conference was Problem Based Learning (PBL): Challenges and Opportunities. Approximately 170 health professionals attended the event and 80 registered for pre-conference workshops. Participants represented more than 15 countries, with most coming from India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The conference was noteworthy for increasing the involvement of health professionals from disciplines outside of medical education, including dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing.
One important outcome from the conference was the creation of a list-serve on PBL with further plans to develop it into an electronic forum similar to FAIMER’s Mentoring and Learning Web (ML-Web) discussion forum. The hope is that this forum will facilitate participants’ sharing of PBL expertise and resources and spread the PBL philosophy to a wider audience in the Asia-Pacific region.
Forty FAIMER Fellows and nine FAIMER faculty participated in the Brazilian Medical Education Congress, held October 18-21 in Salvador, Brazil. Eliana Amaral (PHIL 2003), Co-Director of the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute, reports that FAIMER Fellows presented 66 posters and 34 oral communications, representing nearly 9% and 15% of the totals respectively, despite the fact that the FAIMER group represented less than 2% of the total participants in the Congress. FAIMER Fellows also served as reviewers for poster sessions and some Fellows were elected to serve as coordinators of four (out of eight) regional offices for the Brazilian Association on Medical Education.
In conjunction with the Congress, a Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute meeting was held. Eliana notes that the meeting was successful not only in “bringing the group together,” but also in “stimulating potential candidates for the Regional as well as the Philadelphia Institute.” Participants in the meeting included the Brazilian Manager of the Pan American Health Organization and a representative from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, partners for the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute. Their participation helped raise awareness for faculty development issues and the role of FAIMER initiatives at a national level.
Education for Health (EfH), the peer-reviewed, MEDLINE-indexed journal of The Network: Towards Unity for Health, recently publicized the top five most frequently visited articles published in the journal in 2007. Two of the articles were authored by FAIMER staff and FAIMER Institute Fellows. The top five articles, listed in descending order by number of “hits,” were:
Application of the Health Belief Model for Osteoporosis Prevention among Middle School Girl Students, Garmsar, Iran
S.M. Hazavehei, M.H. Taghdisi, M. Saidi
Capacity Building in Medical Education and Health Outcomes in Developing Countries: the Missing Link W.P. Burdick, P.S. Morahan, J.J. Norcini
Research on Medical Migration from Sub-Saharan Medical Schools: Usefulness of a Feasibility Process to Define Barriers to Data Collection and Develop a Practical Study A. Longombe (PHIL 2003), V. Burch (PHIL 2001), S. Luboga (PHIL 2003), C. Mkony (PHIL 2003), E. Olapade-Olaopa (PHIL 2002), B. Otieno-Nyunya (PHIL 2001), B. Afolabi (PHIL 2002), E. Nwobodo (PHIL 2004), S. Kiguli (PHIL 2004), W.P. Burdick, J.R. Boulet, P.S. Morahan
Gender Sensitization among Health Providers and Communities through Transformative Learning Tools: Experiences from Karachi, Pakistan
B.T. Shaikh, S. Reza, M. Afzal, F. Rabbani
DREEM and beyond; studies of the educational environment as a means for its enhancement
S.R. Whittle, B. Whelan, D.G. Murdoch-Eaton
The Network: Towards Unity for Health is a global consortium of health professions schools committed to improving the education of health professionals with a focus on strategies that improve responsiveness to the needs of communities. EfH is dedicated to the dissemination of scholarship that reflects the Network’s mission and goals, goals that FAIMER shares. FAIMER has provided financial support to EfH and two FAIMER staff members, Jack Boulet and Bill Burdick, are members of the EfH Editorial Board. EfH publishes “original contributions of interest to health and clinical practitioners, educators, policy makers, administrators, and learners in the health professions. Specifically this focus is on global models of health system integration and health professions education that lead to improved health and health care delivery.”
Sixteen international health professions educators who represent academic institutions from 14 countries around the world arrived in Philadelphia on October 5, 2008, to begin their first session as Fellows of the 2008 FAIMER Institute.
The FAIMER Institute fellowship program is designed for international health professions educators who have the potential to play key roles at their schools. The program serves two main purposes, to: (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 by improving health professions education programs. The program helps Fellows develop curricula appropriate to their own schools and communities.
At the end of October, the incoming Institute 2008 Fellows were joined by returning Institute 2007 Fellows as they completed their final residential session. When the 2008 Fellows complete their final residential session next year, they will meet the incoming Institute 2009 Fellows. 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 their communities.
The 2008 FAIMER Institute Fellows are:
María Bernadá, M.D., Universidad de la República, Uruguay
Elaine Bezerra, M.D., Ph.D., Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Ricardo Borda, M.D., Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia
Suleyman Ayhan Caliskan, Ph.D., M.D., Ege Universitesi, Turkey
An Dao, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.D., Hanoi Medical University, Viet Nam
Sari Dewi, M.D., M.H.P.E., Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
Coralie Therese Dimacali, M.D., University of the Philippines Manila, Philippines
Irene Durante, M.D., M.B.A., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Jorge Garcia, M.Sh., Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Argentina
Harpreet Kapoor, M.S., M.B.B.S., Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India
Michan Malca, M.D., Universidad Científica del Sur, Peru
Dianne Manning, Ph.D., M.Ed., University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Henal Shah, M.B.B.S., D.P.M., M.D., Topiwala National Medical College, India
John Tumbo, M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., M.C.F.P., University of Limpopo, South Africa
More than 20 FAIMER Institute alumni from five African countries (South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda, and Ethiopia) and four FAIMER faculty members (from the United States, United Kingdom, and Malaysia) joined the 2008 Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) Fellows at the South African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE) meeting of about 300 health professions educators at Stellenbosch University on June 19-21, 2008. A total of 22 posters and oral presentations were presented by 13 FAIMER alumni (indicated below in bold):
Bezuidenhout J, Young G. The odyssey of the critical professional. SAAHE 2008:52.
Burch V and FAIMER. Clinical practice intentions of African-trained medical students – a case study of 10 medical schools. SAHHE 2008:54
Cameron D. Breaking bad news – can the film, Wit, help students to reflect on the complexities of dying? SAAHE 2008:55.
Van Wyk JM, McKinley D, Burch V, Cameron D, Cilliers F. The effect of gender on physicians’ career intentions: a report from South Africa. SAAHE 2008:168.
Hugo JFM, van Rooyen M, Blitz JJ, Cameron D. Mentoring consultation skills through a structured assessment. SAAHE 2008:73.
Blitz JJ, Cameron D, van Rooyen M, Hugo JFM. Action learning for curriculum development. SAAHE 2008:127.
van Rooyen M, Blitz JJ, Cameron D, Hugo JFM. Student behaviour informs learning opportunities: HIV exposure incidents. SAAHE 2008:165.
Cilliers FJ, Adendorff HJ, Bitzer EM, Herman N, Schuwirth LWT, van der Vleuten CPM. Assessment impacts on learning, you say? Please explain how. SAAHE 2008:58.
Cameron NA, van Heerden BB, Cilliers FJ, van Zyl ME. Medical student electives: how do they compare with other learning opportunities? SAAHE 2008:128.
deVilliers MR, van Heusden M, van Heerden B. Evaluation of the clinical progress interventions for medical students not demonstrating academic progress. SAAHE 2008:60.
Louw AJN, Gerber MF, Meyer CJ, Strijdom JG, Cameron N, Beukes S, van Heerden BB, van Heusden M. New interdisciplinary foundation phase for health sciences at Stellenbosch University. SAAHE 2008:81.
van Heerden BB, Aldrich CA, du Plessis SA, Jemwa GT, de Jager R, Louw AJN. Predicting student success in the first year of a medical curriculum using neural network analysis. SAAHE 2008:111.
Wilson van Aarde NW, Bouhuijs P, Conradie HH, Rueter H, van Heerden BB, Marais BJ. Perceived educational value of a rural clinical rotation for medical students. SAAHE 2008:114.
Higgins-Opitz SB, McLean M, van Wyk J, Moodley K, Naidoo SS. Final year medical students: perceptions of the practice of medicine. SAAHE 2008:72.
Kwizera EN. Post-graduate training preferences of Walter Sisulu University medical graduates. SAAHE 2008:78.
Garcia-Jardon ME, Blanco-Blanco EV, Kwizera EN, Stepien A, Vasaikar S. Correlation between continuous assessment, final exam and final mark for MB ChB at Walter Sisulu University. SAAHE 2008:135.
Kiguli SK. Addressing the gaps in paediatrics clinical clerkship through south to south collaboration. SAAHE 2008:142.
Kiguli-Malwadde EK. Learning radiology in the problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum at the Faculty of Medicine, Makerere University. SAAHE 2008:143.
Mbakwem AC, Oke DA, Ajuluchukwu JNA, Amadi CA, Adanijo MO, Ajoku N. Assessment of medical students’ attitude to the introduction of communication and counseling skills training. SAAHE 2008:146.
Oviasu E, Omeumu CE. Clinical skills evaluation in a resource constrained Nigerian environment. SAAHE 2008:155.
Raji Y, Ajani RS, Shittu OI. Admission scores and students’ performance in preclinical examinations. SAAHE 2008:161.
van Rooyen M. Prof, I’m tired and stressed! SAAHE 2008:167.
In addition, 2005 FAIMER Institute Fellow Christina Tan, M.B.B.S., was invited by the SAAHE Organising Committee to deliver one of the plenary lectures, entitled “Assessing the Assessors.” The following comments from 2007 FAIMER Institute Fellow Amam Mbakwem, M.B.B.S., Senior Lecturer, University of Lagos, illustrate the usefulness of FAIMER’s support in advancing the field of health professions education: “The meeting in South Africa was quite rich in content. For me there was a deepening of some of the concepts which are quite new for those of us not so versed in medical education. The mix of international speakers allowed one to see the two sides of the coin on some of the burning issues in training or assessment methods and then pitch your tent when you decide on what makes sense to you and will work in your environment. I presented a part of my project and … had interesting comments and questions from other participants. I hope to develop the manuscript and come along with it during our second session to get some more comments. Also, contacts and links to other health educators in South Africa and likelihood of collaborative work were made. Also we gleaned some information as to how SAFRI was being run which we could piggy-back on when WAFRI [West Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute] takes off. There is also the social aspect to it. It was so nice meeting the South African FAIMER fellows again. Also I could put faces to some of the listserv contributors from that region.”
(posted September 3, 2008; updated October 3, 2008)
A new class of 16 Fellows attended the PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute at PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Coimbatore, India, April 16-21, 2008. They were joined for the final two days of their program by the returning class of 2007, who participated in their second residential session April 20-23. This occasion marked the successful completion of the first joint session for the PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute, which was launched last year.
The 2008 Fellows spent much of the first several days developing education innovation project plans, which they presented during the intersecting period in small groups made up of Fellows from both classes and members of the Institute faculty. The 2007 Fellows then had an opportunity to present posters detailing the progress they have made on the projects that they launched a year ago. The two classes will continue to build their newly expanded professional networks with on-line discussions using FAIMER’s Mentoring and Learning Web.
Director Thomas Chacko, M.B.B.S., M.D., was joined in presenting the Institute by an able team of local faculty and staff at PSG, visiting Indian faculty comprised of former FAIMER Fellows, and international faculty from the United States and the United Kingdom.
The following is a list of participating 2008 Fellows:
Ashwini Appaji, M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, India
Shital Bhandary, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal
Komaladevi Sampath Damodar, Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, India
Mangala Charana Das, NRI Medical College, India
Anthony David, Deccan College of Medical Sciences, India
Amol Donge, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, India
Animesh Jain, Kasturba Medical College, India
Feroze Kaliyadan, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, India
Gopalakrishnan Muhammad, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, India
Chitra Nagaraj, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, India
Kathamuthu Padmavathy, AIMST University, Malaysia
Baranitharan Ramamoothy, PSG College of Physiotherapy, India
Logeswari Selvaraj, Theni Medical College, India
Sundarakumar Sundarajan, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, India
Satish Sylvester, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, India
Nirmala Thangavelu, PSG College of Nursing, India
(posted April 10, 2008; updated April 30, 2008, May 16, 2008)
FAIMER Institute faculty member Vanessa Burch, M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., Ph.D., has been named Professor and Chair of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cape Town.
A 2001 FAIMER Institute Fellow, Dr. Burch has been a member of the FAIMER Institute faculty since 2005. Prior to joining the faculty, she spent two years as a Global Faculty Advisor. She also serves as Co-Director of the Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute, which began in February of this year.
The April 2008 issue of Education for Health (Volume 21, Issue 1) is now available on the journal’s website. In this issue, a brief communication entitled, “An Example of Program Evaluation Project in Undergraduate Medical Education” was co-authored by several faculty members from the Medical Education Department at Dokuz Eylul University School of Medicine in Turkey, including 2002 IFME Fellow Berna Musal and 2003 FAIMER Institute Fellow Huseyin Cahit Taskiran.
The 13th Ottawa International Conference on Clinical Competence was held March 5-8, 2008 in Melbourne, Australia. Australians, famous for their ubiquitous slang, call their country “Oz,” and therefore this conference has from the initial planning stages affectionately been referred to as “Ozzawa.” Melbourne, pronounced “Mel-bin” by the locals, is the capital of the state of Victoria and is situated on the picturesque tree-lined banks of the Yarra River. Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city with a unique balance of graceful old and new architecture surrounded by parks and gardens.
The conference was organized by three overarching and interacting themes: The Life of the Patient, The Life of the Professional, and The Life of the Program. The scientific program was large and varied, and included six renowned invited speakers, 17 pre-conference workshops, more than 450 oral presentations, 26 symposia, 29 workshops, and 300 posters.
FAIMER was well represented at the conference. Dr. John Norcini presented a short communication overview of an assessment of FAIMER education programs entitled Evaluation of an International Education Leadership Fellowship Program and participated as a speaker in two symposia: Reporting the UK Foundation Assessment Programme and Novel Assessments and Services for Medical Schools, Students and Professionals: A Perspective from Several Organizations. Dr. Norcini also co-conducted two workshops: Mini-CEX – How it Works in Surgery? Is it a General Method for Work Based Assessment? and Medical Education Databases. Dr. John Boulet presented a full-length paper entitled Setting Performance Standards for Mannequin-Based Acute-Care Scenarios: An Examinee Centered Approach. FAIMER and the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) organized a symposium entitled International Recognition and Accreditation of Medical Schools’ Programmes. As part of this symposium, Marta van Zanten presented on Gathering Accreditation Data: The FAIMER Directory of Organizations that Recognize / Accredit Medical Schools. Dr. Norcini moderated this symposium, which also contained presentations by WFME, the Australian Medical Council, and Harbin Medical University in China.
In addition to these presentations by FAIMER staff, Mobeen Iqbal, FAIMER Institute class of 2007, of Shifa College of Medicine in Pakistan, gave two presentations, Medical Students’ Perceptions of Teaching Evaluationsand Health Related Quality of Life in a Pakistan Medical School; and Enoch Kwizera, FAIMER Institute class of 2007, of Walter Sisulu University in South Africa, co-authored the poster Evaluating Students’ Generic Learning Skills Early in their Undergraduate Careers – Valuable for Course Organisers?.
The “Ozzawa” conference, the first Ottawa conference to be hosted in Australia, was an excellent opportunity for FAIMER to present its work to an international audience. Additional information can be found on the conference website.