Mexican Association Dedicated to Medical Education Research Launches

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On February 11, participants at the 2010 Medical Education Meeting (Jornadas de Educación Médica 2010) held at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), witnessed the launch of an organization devoted to medical education research in Latin America. The new Mexican Association of Medical Education Research (AMIEM) seeks to:

  • promote the formation and development of human resources in medical education research
  • organize periodic events to build networks of academics interested in medical education research
  • develop diffusion and collaboration strategies for the improvement of medical education

In addition to these goals, AMIEM is developing a journal to help disseminate original medical education research and knowledge throughout Spanish-speaking countries. Options for publishing the journal on-line and/or in print are under consideration.

AMIEM was officially launched by four members of the UNAM Facultad de Medicina: Irene Durante-Montiel (PHIL 2008), Secretary of the Technical Council; Enrique Graue-Wiechers, Dean of the Facultad de Medicina; Octavio Rivero-Serrano, former Dean of the Facultad de Medicina and former Chancellor of UNAM; and Melchor Sánchez-Mendiola, Secretary of Medical Education. Dr. Sánchez-Mendiola serves as President of AMIEM and Dr. Durante-Montiel serves as Treasurer. All four members were organizers of the National Congress on Medical Education, held in Puebla, México, in 2007, where the idea for AMIEM first originated. Participants at that conference, including more than 300 international medical educators, expressed a strong desire to improve medical education research throughout Latin America, so a commitment was made to form an association dedicated to that purpose.

So far AMIEM has 104 members, all from Mexico, including Andrea Dávila-Cervantes (PHIL 2009), who also serves on the UNAM Facultad de Medicina. Plans are to invite medical educators from throughout Latin America to join AMIEM following the launch of the journal.

Save the Dates—National Conference on Health Professions Education to Take Place September 16-17, 2011

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The 2nd National Conference on Health Professions Education (NCHPE) will take place September 16-17, 2011, in Vellore, India. The theme for the conference is “Health Professions Education—Toward Meeting the Health Care Needs of India.”

While health professions education in India has grown faster than the population, inequalities in the health care system persist and access to adequate health services has worsened. Despite 60 years of policy changes in medical education, there continues to be a shortage of well-trained physicians in rural areas and other needy regions. NCHPE 2011 aims to address these issues by providing a forum for the discussion of possible reforms to the health professions education system and by drawing on successful models that have been implemented in other countries. In particular, NCHPE 2011 seeks to:

  • Create an awareness of and strengthen the connections between health professions educators, policy makers, and health care providers
  • Provide a platform for participants to share scholarship, research, experiences, and educational strategies
  • Encourage participants to network with one another and to collaborate in an effort to learn from each other’s experiences and develop health professions education strategies that meet the real health care needs of India

NCHPE 2011 will be hosted by the Medical Education Unit of Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore. Rashmi Vyas (PHIL 2003), Professor of Physiology at CMC, Vellore, is Conference Organizer. Health professions educators from all health care disciplines are invited to attend. Additional details, including registration information, will be provided when they are available.

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

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.

11th Thai Medical Education Conference

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The 11th Thai Medical Education Conference, “Globalization and Medical Education,” was hosted by the Faculty of Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, in Bangkok, Thailand, March 27-29, 2010. The conference provided an opportunity for participants to discuss medical education strategies and processes with a view toward improving healthcare services in South East Asia. The focus of discourse was on meeting the changing demands of today’s globalized society.

The conference was supported by the Consortium of Thai Medical Schools, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), and by Chulalongkorn University. Attendees included WFME President Stefan Lindgren; members of the WFME Executive Council, including Chair of the FAIMER Board of Directors and Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) President Emmanuel G. Cassimatis; President of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Madalena Folque Patrício; President of the Association of Medical Schools in Europe (AMSE) David Gordon; President of Chulalongkorn University Pirom Kamolratanakul; executive committee members of the South East Asia Regional Association of the World Federation for Medical Education (SEARAME), including PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute Director Thomas Chacko (PHIL 2004) and FAIMER faculty member Rita Sood (PHIL 2005); members of WHO; and delegates from Thailand. Executive-level meetings of both WFME and SEARAME were held in conjunction with the conference.

Among the numerous presentations given at the conference were the following key lectures:

Impact of Free Trade Agreement on Health Professional Education
Pirom Kamolratanakul, President, Chulalongkorn University

Roles of Medical Doctors towards the Next Decades
Stefan Lindgren, President, WFME

The Avicenna Directories for Medicine—Understanding the World’s Medical Schools
David Gordon, President, Association of Medical Schools in Europe (AMSE)

The Bologna Process and Sharing Medical Education Resources
Madalena Patrício, President, Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)

Public Health Role of Doctors in a Globalized World: A WHO Perspective
Myint Htwe, Director, Program Managment, WHO South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO)

The Global Environment of Health Professions Education—WHO Perspective (Building and Sustaining the Health Workforce: The Grand Challenges)
Dr. Maureen Birmingham, WHO Representative to Thailand

Suez Canal University Medical Education Department Receives Leadership and Management Award

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Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of the world’s neediest countries by helping managers and leaders improve health services, announced in March the recipients of its annual Leadership and Management Awards for 2010. Receiving the third-place award was the Medical Education Department of the Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University in Ismailia, Egypt, under the directorship of 2007 FAIMER Institute Fellow Wagdy Talaat. The Leadership and Management Awards are given annually to managers and teams of organizations that work to improve the health of their communities, and who demonstrate measurable and compelling results in overcoming challenges related to organizational improvements and services.

As Founding Chair of the Medical Education Department, Dr. Talaat helped to establish the department’s two distance-learning programs: the Diploma of Health Professions Education (DHPE), which was planned by Dr. Talaat during his FAIMER fellowship, and the Joint Master of Health Professions Education (JMHPE), which is administered in collaboration with Maastricht University in the Netherlands. The DHPE began in 2008 and is a national program open to health professionals in Egypt; the JMHPE began in 2005 and is an international program open to health professionals throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region. Alumni of both programs include presidents of universities, deans and vice deans of medical, dental, pharmaceutical, and nursing schools, as well as department chairs, and other educators.

Dr. Talaat says that he is proud of the international recognition that the Medical Education Department has received but knows that there is still much work to be done. He and his team envision qualifying 5% of all health professions educators in Egypt through the DHPE within the first five years of the program. The JMHPE is one of the largest programs of its kind in the world, but there are countries in the region that need additional help. To encourage participation from faculty in under-resourced countries, such as Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Morocco, funding is provided by both Suez Canal University and the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO).

For more information on the 2010 Leadership and Management Awards and awardees, log into the MSH website and visit the Leadership and Management Awards page (

12th International Medical Education Conference Held in Argentina

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The XII Jornadas Internacionales De Educación Médica (12th International Medical Education Conference) took place April 19-20, 2010, at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. FAIMER Associate Vice President for Research and Data Resources John Boulet and FAIMER Research Associate Marta van Zanten spoke at the conference, along with Tony Errichetti of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute faculty member Luiz Ernesto de Almeida Troncon of the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil. The main focus of the conference was the use of clinical simulations in medical assessment. Presentations were given on scoring performance based assessments, basic psychometrics, assessing communication skills, formative assessment and feedback issues, and best practices in standardized patient assessments. The conference was organized in part by Ana Lía Vargas (PHIL 2001) of the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, and was well attended by faculty from the university and other medical schools in Argentina and Chile.

Access to On-line Health Care Services and Systems Resource Free to Latin America and the Caribbean

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Through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), free access to the Cochrane Library—a preeminent repository of research on the efficacy of health interventions—is available to individual users in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Versions in English and Spanish are available through the global Virtual Health Library portal at

The Cochrane Library comprises more than 4,000 systemic reviews intended to serve as resources to inform public policy, financial and technological evaluations, clinical guidelines, and supporting clinical decisions. The scientific evidence pertains to policies, programs, and practices aimed at improving health care systems and services. The library is intended for all users, from patients and the general public to health professionals and regulatory authorities.

International Journal of Medical Education (IJME)

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The International Journal of Medical Education (IJME) is a new open-access, peer-reviewed, scientific journal promoting the exchange of knowledge among medical professionals in all domains of medical and clinical education and practice worldwide. IJME publishes research papers, review articles, short communications, and letters to the editor, and strives to present a variety of approaches to medical education from different cultures and perspectives. One particular aim of the journal is to provide a forum for authors whose first language is not English.

FAIMER faculty member Janet Grant and Fellow P. Ravi Shankar (PSG 2007) serve on the editorial board of IJME. Dr. Shankar also published an editorial letter in Volume 1 entitled “Sir Robert Hutchison’s Petition and the Medical Humanities.”

For more information on the International Journal of Medical Education or to register to submit work for publication, visit