Recent IFMSA Report: Attacks on Medical Education

Posted on Categories health professions education, publicationsTags

International Federation of Medical Students AssociationsThe International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) recently published a pilot report exploring the impact of wars and violence on medical education and health care, titled Attacks on Medical Education. The report focuses on attacks on medical education in seven countries: Libya, Palestine, Ukraine, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. It examines the impact of violence on specific components of medical education, such as facilities, teaching hospitals, libraries, academic staff, and students; as well as the consequences these attacks can have for health care delivery and the sustainability of health care systems.

For more information or to access the report, visit

IFMSA is a non-profit, non-governmental organization representing associations of medical students worldwide. Founded in 1951, IFMSA currently maintains 137 National Member Organizations from 127 countries across six continents, representing a network of more than 1.3 million medical students. IFMSA is recognized as a non-governmental organization within the United Nations’ system and the World Health Organization, and works in collaboration with the World Medical Association. IFMSA also supports the Health Care in Danger (HCID) project, an initiative of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement aimed at addressing violence against patients, health workers, facilities, and vehicles, and ensuring safe access to and delivery of health care in armed conflict and other emergencies.

For more information on IFMSA, visit

Medical Education Editorial Internships

Posted on Categories health professions education, journalsTags

Medical Education is an international, peer-reviewed journal with distribution to readers in more than 80 countries. The journal aims to publish material of the highest quality reflecting worldwide or provocative issues and perspectives relevant to health professional education. The contents will be of interest to learners, teachers, and researchers. It aims to have a significant impact on scholarship in health professional education and, ultimately, on the quality of health care by prioritizing papers that offer a fundamental advance in understanding of practically relevant educational issues. The journal welcomes papers on any aspect of health professional education.

As part of its emphasis on capacity building for the field, the journal will offer three editorial internship positions, beginning July 1, 2017. Interns will be involved in all aspects of the editorial role, working closely with the Editor-in-Chief and deputy editors, reviewing and offering recommendations on submitted works, engaging in conversations about electronic and print-based innovations at the journal, and contributing editorials or commentaries on timely issues. Interns will be selected through a competitive process (outlined below) with some effort made to ensure geographic diversity.

Applicants should anticipate being able to work 1-2 hours per week for the 12-month duration of the internship. Applicants are also expected to participate in hour-long monthly meetings, which will be held electronically via the internet and, dependent on the location of the interns, may well be outside of normal office hours. They should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, formal research training, and a strong understanding of the field of health professional education and health professional education research. An allowance of £300 will be made available for any expenses incurred. In addition, registration to the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Scientific Meeting will be paid in the July following the completion of the internship.

To apply, the following materials should be sent to the editorial office ( by April 1, 2017:

  1. An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
  2. A 250-word biography
  3. A 250-word statement indicating what skills and experiences the candidate brings to the internship
  4. A 250-word statement indicating what impact the internship can be expected to have on the candidate’s career
  5. A 250-word statement indicating what impact the internship can be expected to have on the candidate’s institution, country, or region
  6. A letter of support from the candidate’s employer

All inquiries should be directed to

National Consultations on Reforms in Medical Education Take Place at Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, India

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Pramukhswami Medical College in Karamsad, India, hosted National Consultations on Reforms in Medical Education, April 1-3, 2011. Eight FAIMER Fellows from Pramukhswami organized the event, among them Himanshu Pandya (CMCL 2007), who served as Organizing Secretary. The consultations addressed four broad areas of medical education in India:

  • structural reforms
  • review of current issues and trends in curriculum
  • review of innovations in assessment
  • inclusion of research and ethics

Within each of these areas, 40 health professions education experts from India and abroad debated two or three subthemes over the course of the three-day meeting. Included among the experts were Dr. Pandya, Anshu (CMCL 2007, PHIL 2009), Chetna Desai (CMCL 2007), Sarmishtha Ghosh (GSMC 2007), Sanjay Gupta (GSMC 2011), Praveen Singh (CMCL 2008), Suman Singh (CMCL 2008), Uday Shankar Singh (GSMC 2008), and Rita Sood (PHIL 2005).

Recommendations arising from the debates were presented on the last day of the Consultations and included the following:

  • A national policy to ensure an adequate number and equitable distribution of health care professionals and medical colleges throughout the country
  • Introduction of a mandatory accreditation process for all medical colleges and teaching hospitals in the country
  • Implementation in phases, depending upon local resources, of an integrated learning program for the undergraduate medical course
  • Integration of a holistic understanding of patients and an integral healing process into the core medical curriculum
  • Alignment of student assessment with predefined learning outcomes based on health care needs
  • A structured curriculum for research methods and ethics for the medical course

On hand to hear the recommendations were Dr. S. K. Sarin, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India, and Dr. Harish Padh, Vice Chancellor, Sardar Patel University.

Looking forward, Pramukhswami Medical College plans to host additional national-level consultations to facilitate regular dialogue and debate in an effort to promote the incorporation of further reforms and trends in medical education commensurate with India’s health care needs.

Home Institutions of CMCL-FRI and GSMC-FRI to Offer Advanced Course in Medical Education

Posted on Categories health professions education, Regional InstitutesTags , , ,

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has upgraded the designation of six of the schools in its nationwide faculty development program from regional center to nodal center. Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, home to the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute, and Seth G.S. Medical College, home to the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute, have both been upgraded to nodal centers. Under the MCI plan, the regional center designation provides approval for conducting a three-day basic education workshop, while the nodal center designation provides approval for conducting the basic workshop as well as an advanced course in medical education. Participants who have completed the basic education workshop will be eligible for the advanced course, which will emphasize self-learning and foster mentoring relationships among medical educators. Programming is still under development, but the basic structure for the advanced course will model the FAIMER fellowship program. Tentatively, the course will be 12 months in duration and include two sessions, each consisting of one week of on-site instruction followed by six months of distance learning. As part of the course, participants would design an educational innovation project and implement it at their home institution.

National Board of Examinations in India Creates Specialty Advisory Board

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The National Board of Examinations in India recently constituted a Specialty Advisory Board in Medical Education and Technology. The goals of this Specialty Board are to:

  • develop specialized instructional courses and training programs for faculty development
  • develop assessment tools for formative and summative assessment
  • guide research in teaching, training, and assessment methodology
  • develop specialized workshops and seminars to achieve educational aims and objectives
  • establish standards for essential learning in medical education
  • advise regarding measures required for the growth and development of medical education

The 2010-2011 Specialty Advisory Board is comprised of: Bipin Batra (PHIL 2010) of the National Board of Examinations; Prof. Swarna Rekha of St. John’s Medical College in Bangalore; CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Director Tejinder Singh (PHIL 2003) of Christian Medical College, Ludhiana; Rita Sood (PHIL 2005) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi; and GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute Director Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002) of Seth G.S. Medical College in Mumbai.

MCI Working Groups in Medical Education Provide Roadmap for Reform

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In July 2010, the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI) convened two Working Groups, one each on undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) medical education, in an effort to develop a roadmap for achieving targets set forth in its “Vision 2015” statement on improving medical education. The Working Groups were tasked with assessing the present status of medical education, comparing the current situation with global trends and needs, and developing appropriate strategies for achieving reforms in both education and practice. Medical educationists from throughout India with the “vision and expertise” to address these issues were invited to participate, including FAIMER faculty members Payal Bansal (PHIL 2007) and Rita Sood (PHIL 2005), and Director of the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002). Dr. Bansal served on the UG Working Group; Drs. Sood and Supe served on the PG Working Group.

The groups met over the course of three weekends, taking part in day-long meetings that included much intense discussion and brainstorming. Each group prepared a report, submitted to MCI for review and implementation, with recommendations for both short- and long-term reform and restructuring within an overall timeframe of 10 years. Areas addressed in the reports included admissions, curriculum, examinations, the supply of and demand for doctors, and continuing professional development. Dr. Supe indicated that FAIMER principles and methods were useful in developing ideas proposed in the groups’ recommendations. He added that the meetings were a great experience and a welcome opportunity to contribute to the improvement of medical education in his country.

New Series Announced in The Open University-FAIMER-WFME Distance Learning Modules in Medical Education

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The Open University-FAIMER-WFME Distance Learning Modules in Medical Education is pleased to offer a new series on the theme of “Educational Management and Leadership.” The first four modules in the series are open for registration:

Module Start Date
Leadership in Health Professions Education January 10, 2011
Understanding and Managing Self April 11, 2011
Understanding and Managing Others, Performance and Conflict July 11, 2011
Positive, Appreciative, Strengths-Based Leadership October 10, 2011
Leading and Managing Projects TBA
Managing Meetings and Group Decision-Making TBA
Team Building TBA
Managing and Leading Change TBA

Registration is also still open for modules in the first series on “Self-review and Accreditation:”

Module Start Date
Self-Review in Low-Resource Circumstances October 4, 2010
Implementing Improvements after Review January 10, 2011
Planning an External Review April 11, 2011
Purposes and Methods of Accreditation July 11, 2011
Non-Regulatory Approaches to Quality Assurance of Medical Education October 10, 2011

The cost of each module is US $85.00 and space is limited.

Modules in both series were developed by FAIMER in collaboration with The Open University Centre for Education in Medicine (OUCEM) in the United Kingdom and the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). Feedback from participants on completed modules has been extremely positive:

“Distance learning has been a great experience for me. I am really enjoying and learning new things daily. I will recommend it to all colleagues here…”

“I … eagerly wait to read the tutor’s comments. The past 10 weeks have been lovely.”

“I really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. They would be definitely useful for the development of our institution…”

Each module takes approximately one hour per week for 10 weeks. Modules can be downloaded or used on-line. Participants are provided with materials and supporting documentation, as well as access to an on-line discussion forum. A learning advisor is assigned to each participant to stimulate and discuss progress. Participants are expected to complete two one-hour assignments (within the 10-hour allocation) for which they will receive marked feedback. At the end of each completed module, participants will receive a certificate which can be used as evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Visit The Open University-FAIMER-WFME Distance Learning Modules in Medical Education page to register or to learn more. If you have any questions, please e-mail

International Meeting on Medical Education for Universal Health Care Systems—EXPO SGTES 2010

Posted on Categories conferences, health professions educationTags , , , , ,

A diverse group of experts in Human Resources for Health (HRH) took part in an international meeting on medical education for universal health care systems held in Brasilia, Brazil, on July 19, 2010, as part of the Secretariat of Labor and Education Management for Health’s (SGTES) three-day EXPO SGTES conference. The purpose of the meeting was to foster collaborations between South American countries to strengthen medical education geared towards primary health care. Organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), participants included FAIMER, the Ministry of Education of Brazil, the Ministry of Health of Peru, representatives of PAHO and the World Health Organization, delegations of HRH units in South American countries, South American associations of medical education, and representatives of Brazilian medical schools. Discussions were framed by presentations on several successful initiatives, including the Brasil-FAIMER Regional Institute (BRAZ-FRI). The FAIMER Regional Initiative in Latin America (FRILA) was explored as a possible avenue for expanding collaboration throughout South America. Ralf Graves, M.S., Program Manager of FAIMER Regional Initiatives; Henry Campos, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., and Eliana Amaral, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Directors of BRAZ-FRI; Francisco Campos, M.D., head of SGTES and faculty member of BRAZ-FRI; and more than 40 Latin American FAIMER Fellows and members of FRILA were in attendance.

Study Finds Non-U.S. Citizen International Medical Graduates Provide Same Quality of Care as Physicians Educated in the United States

Posted on Categories health professions education, publications, researchTags , , , , ,

Internationally trained physicians are key members of the U.S. physician workforce. The United States has not produced enough nationally educated physicians to meet the country’s health care demands for some time, and internationally trained physicians have made up for this shortfall, comprising approximately 25% of the total U.S. physician workforce. Despite a rigorous certification process, questions have persisted concerning the quality of care that these physicians provide. A new study, published in the August issue of Health Affairs and authored by a team led by FAIMER President and CEO John Norcini, examines the performance of internationally trained physicians compared to their U.S. counterparts, and addresses those concerns:

“Evaluating the quality of care provided by graduates of international medical schools” (Health Affairs, 29(8):1461-1468)
John J. Norcini, Ph.D., FAIMER President and CEO
John R. Boulet, Ph.D., FAIMER Associate Vice President for Research and Data Resources
W. Dale Dauphinee, M.D., FAIMER Senior Scholar
Amy Opalek, M.S., FAIMER Data Resource Specialist
Ian D. Krantz, M.D., Member, FAIMER Board of Directors and Chair, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Board of Trustees
Suzanne T. Anderson, Trustee-at-Large, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Board of Trustees

The study analyzed 244,153 hospitalizations of patients with congestive heart failure or acute heart attack in Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2006. Patients were treated by physicians who specialized in family medicine, internal medicine, or cardiology. Each physician fell into one of three groups: U.S. medical graduates, U.S. citizen international medical graduates, and non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates. The composition of physicians in the study closely matched that of the total U.S. physician workforce: Approximately 75% of the 6,113 doctors were U.S. medical graduates, with the remaining 25% educated abroad. Of the physicians educated abroad, approximately 75% were non-U.S. citizens and 25% were U.S. citizens.

The study examined both mortality rates and hospital lengths-of-stay as indicators of the quality of care that physicians provide. Among the three groups, in-hospital death rates differed significantly. Non-U.S. citizen international graduates were associated with a 16% decrease in mortality relative to U.S. citizen international graduates and a 9% decrease relative to U.S. graduates. Patients of U.S. medical graduates had the shortest hospital lengths-of-stay, while patients of U.S. citizen international graduates had the longest. The length-of-stay of patients of non-U.S. citizen international graduates was only slightly higher than that of U.S. graduates, indicating little practical difference.

These results provide a measure of confidence in the care provided by non-U.S. citizen internationally educated physicians and highlight the important contribution that they make to the U.S. health care system. As Dr. Norcini points out, “It is reassuring to know that patients of these doctors receive the same quality of care that they would receive from a physician trained in the United States.” He adds, “These findings bring attention to foreign-trained doctors and the valuable role they have played in responding to the nation’s physician shortage.”

Still, the findings concerning internationally trained U.S. citizens elicit a moment of pause. Why did these physicians fare less well in the study? The authors speculate that some of them may seek their education abroad because they were unable to enter U.S. medical schools due to lower grades and/or test scores. Alternately, the quality of education provided at some of the schools attended by these physicians may be of a lower standard than at schools attended by physicians in the other two groups. There may be other explanations as well, and additional research is warranted. Regardless, as U.S. medical schools expand enrollment to combat the shortage of home-educated physicians, some of the students who might have otherwise gone abroad may apply to medical schools in the United States. If that happens, U.S. schools will need to maintain high admission standards to ensure the quality of the physician pool. Further compounding the issue is a lack of proportionate growth in graduate training programs to complement the expansion of medical schools. As Dr. Norcini points out, “If this continues, the current physician shortages will persist and the numbers of foreign-trained doctors will likely decrease significantly.”

In addition to its findings concerning the three separate groups of medical graduates, the study also provided insights applicable to the general physician population. The authors found that in-hospital mortality rates and hospital lengths-of-stay increase with the number of years following graduation from medical school, whereas specialty board certification was associated with lower mortality and shorter hospital stays. These findings point to the need for ongoing training and periodic assessment throughout a physician’s career to maintain a high level of competence, an important consideration for all doctors, regardless of where they received their 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.