Maharashtra University of Health Sciences Receives Grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Global Health Affairs

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Maharashtra University of Health Sciences’ (MUHS) Department of Medical Education and Technology (MET) has received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Global Health Affairs, New Delhi. Payal Bansal (PHIL 2007) of the Department of MET at MUHS has been working with FAIMER in recent months to advance capacity building activities in India. In recognition of the importance of improving medical education in India, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended its support to these activities. The grant agreement was signed at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai on December 19, 2008.

The grant will be used to fund a number of activities, including the following MUHS-FAIMER initiatives:

  1. A consultation of Deans of 41 medical schools located in Maharashtra state, aimed at improving medical education through faculty development programs. A capacity building plan developed jointly by MUHS and FAIMER will be discussed.
  2. Workshops on advanced education and leadership, and continuing professional development topics by national and international experts.
  3. Regional meetings of graduates of the FAIMER Institute and Regional Institutes from Maharashtra for networking and strategic development.
  4. A second MUHS-FAIMER National Conference in Medical Education, to be held in 2009.
  5. Planning meetings for faculty development programs.

CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Faculty Conduct Workshop in Bangladesh

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CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute faculty conduct workshop in Bangladesh: Jugesh Chhatwal, Dinesh Badyal, Sheena Singh, Tejinder Singh, Harpreet Kapoor
CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Faculty at the First International Training Program for Medical Teachers of Bangladesh, from left to right: Jugesh Chhatwal, Dinesh Badyal, Sheena Singh, Tejinder Singh, Harpreet Kapoor

Faculty from the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute led the First International Training Program for Medical Teachers of Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 1-3, 2008. Organized at the request of the Health Ministry of Bangladesh, this workshop was the first conducted outside of India by CMCL-FAIMER faculty. The CMCL-FAIMER team was comprised of Tejinder Singh (PHIL 2003), Director of the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute; Harpreet Kapoor (CMCL 2006; PHIL 2008); Sheena Singh (CMCL 2006); Dinesh Badyal (CMCL 2007); and Jugesh Chhatwal (PHIL 2007).

Sixty-five participants from 16 medical schools in Bangladesh took part in sessions on such topics as group dynamics, microteaching, the One-Minute Preceptor (OMP) method, and the Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (Mini-CEX) method. Professor Tejinder Singh pointed out that despite the time constraints of the workshop, the leaders decided to showcase FAIMER methodology. “Audience involvement was maximized,” he noted, and “every session was skill oriented and used role playing to drive home the point [of the session].” Post-workshop evaluations were very positive.

Prof. Singh credits William Burdick, FAIMER’s Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute, for his guidance and encouragement in bringing about the workshop. The CMCL-FAIMER faculty were delighted by the outcome of the workshop and hope to do more such work in the future.

FAIMER and the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute faculty gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Bangladesh Ltd., Mr. A.M. Faruque, Managing Director; the Shaeed Dr. Shamsuddin Foundation, Ziauddin Ahmed, M.D., Executive Director; and Sajjad Islam, M.D., of Odessa, Texas, who made this workshop possible.

(posted January 7, 2009; updated January 27, 2009)

FAIMER Institute Fellows Participate in the 6th Biennial Conference of the Asia-Pacific Association on Problem-Based Learning in Health Sciences

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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.

WFME–Iran Joint International Congress on Implementation of WFME Standards in Undergraduate Medical Education

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The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)–Iran Joint International Congress on Implementation of WFME Standards in Undergraduate Medical Education took place on Kish Island, Iran, from November 6-9, 2008. The conference was organized by Elaheh Malakan Rad (PSG 2007), Chair of the Secretariat for Undergraduate Medical Education, and conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran. There were more than 500 participants from 48 universities in Iran, as well as 16 presenters representing eight countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Themes of the congress included Standards and Accreditation, Curriculum and Curricular Reforms, and Assessment and Evaluation.

More than 80 lectures and 200 posters were presented over the course of the four days. In addition to the more formal lectures and workshops held at the congress, two informal “Meet the Experts” sessions were held to provide participants with the opportunity to ask questions of keynote lecturers and network with prominent members of the health professions education community. Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002), Director of the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute; Janet Grant, Director of the Centre for Education in Medicine at the Open University in the United Kingdom and Senior Mentor at the Philadelphia FAIMER Institute; and Thomas Chacko (PHIL 2004), Director of the PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute, served as experts in these sessions and contributed to the congress as workshop leaders and presenters.

Dr. Supe led a workshop on “How to Get Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals” and gave talks on “Accreditation of Medical Schools in India: Lessons Learned from Indian Experiences” and “Competency-based Surgical Education.” Prof. Grant led an international workshop on “Distance Learning” and gave talks on “Curriculum and Quality in Medical Education” and “Program Evaluation.” Dr. Chacko led workshops on “Academic Leadership” and “Accreditation in Undergraduate Medical Education” and lectured on “Faculty Development: The Need for a Comprehensive Approach.” Dr. Malakan Rad added to her contributions with a lecture on “Standard Setting in Examinations.”

Dr. Supe praised the work of Dr. Malakan Rad in coordinating the event and noted that “the enthusiasm of participants and [contributors] was beyond expectations.” He indicated that the impact of the congress on health professions education in Iran should be far-reaching. Professor Bahram Einollahi, Deputy Minister of Educational Affairs and Chair of the Congress, formally acknowledged the guidance of both Prof. Janet Grant and John Norcini, President and CEO of FAIMER, in making the congress a success.

National Workshop on “Teaching Learning Methods in Health Professions Education” Held at AIIMS, New Delhi

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From November 10-12, 2008, forty-five educators from the medical, nursing, and dental fields gathered together at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi to attend the National Workshop on “Teaching Learning Methods in Health Professions Education.” Organizing Chair of the event was Rita Sood (PHIL 2005), and faculty included prominent health professions educators from throughout India, including K. Ramnarayan, FAIMER Fellows Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002), Tejinder Singh (PHIL 2003), Supten Sarbadhikari (PSG 2007), Payal Bansal (PHIL 2007), Nalin Mehta (PSG 2007), and Kalpana Luthra (CMCL 2006). Payal affirmed that serving on the faculty was “a very enriching experience” and a good “opportunity to network with many more medical educators.”

Topics covered during the three-day intensive Workshop included curricular objectives, principles of adult learning, the art of good lecturing, interactive teaching in large groups, microteaching, good teaching practices, problem-based learning, teaching communication skills, teaching clinical skills, professionalism and ethics, and the effective use of technology in instruction. Attendees Praveen Singh (CMCL 2008) and Suman Singh (CMCL 2008) described the sessions as “meticulously planned” with “three full days, full of hands-on activity” that kept participants busy long after the sessions officially ended.

Brazilian Medical Education Congress

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Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute Fellows and Faculty at the 2008 Brazilian Medical Education Congress
Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute Fellows and Faculty at the 2008 Brazilian Medical Education Congress

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.

6th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference: February 19-22, 2009

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Following the success of the past five Asia Pacific Medical Education Conferences (APMEC), the Medical Education Unit of Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, will once again organize and host the next meeting, the 6th APMEC, from February 19-22, 2009 at the LT 27 (Lim Seng Tjoe Lecture Theatre) National University of Singapore, Singapore.

The theme for the 6th APMEC is “Energizing the Educational Mission of Medical Schools: Trends, Issues, Priorities, Strategies.” APMEC expects more than 450 medical educators, teachers, and health administrators in the Asia Pacific region and beyond to attend the conference.

There will be a specially organized FAIMER Forum at the meeting on February 21, 2009. FAIMER Institute alumni, Rashmi Vyas (PHIL 2003), Tejinder Singh (PHIL 2003), and Thomas V. Chacko (PHIL 2004) will be participating in this forum entitled “Developing the Field of Medical Education in India.”

Visit the APMEC website for more details.

International Congress on Implementation of WFME Standards in Curricula of Undergraduate Medical Education: November 7-9, 2008

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The Ministry of Health and Medical Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in collaboration with the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), is hosting an International Congress on Implementation of WFME Standards in Curricula of Undergraduate Medical Education. The Congress will take place November 7-9, 2008, on Kish Island, Islamic Republic of Iran. Themes will include: practical tips and guidelines regarding global reports of the implementation of the WFME standards; content of curricula and curriculum outcomes; teaching and learning methods; integrated curriculum models; assessment methods; organization of curriculum content; curriculum management; linkage of undergraduate and postgraduate curricula; and curriculum evaluation. Practical workshops will also be held on topics such as curriculum integration; program evaluation; accreditation in undergraduate medical education; distance learning; and assessment of students in undergraduate medical education.

The organizers of the Congress have invited many international experts to discuss practical issues on medical education in a friendly and open atmosphere, in the hopes of developing collaborative networks aimed at improving the quality of medical education throughout the world. The deadline for abstract submission is September 30, 2008. For more information, visit the conference website.

The Network: Towards Unity for Health to Hold International Conference in Chia-Bogotá, Colombia, September 27 – October 2, 2008

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The 2008 conference of The Network: Towards Unity for Health will be held in Chia-Bogotá, Colombia, from September 27 to October 2, 2008, in cooperation with the Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia. The theme of the conference is “Adapting Health Services and Health Professions Education to Local Needs: Partnerships, Priorities and Passions.” The Network states that the primary goal of the conference is to analyze and discuss how health systems, services, and health professions education adapt and readapt to the local needs of populations according to the historical, political, and cultural influences they receive over time.

The Network invites abstracts containing empirical, theoretical, or descriptive studies relevant to the field, as well as proposals for mini-workshops and/or didactic sessions. The deadline for abstracts and proposals is June 1, 2008. For detailed information on the 2008 conference, visit

(posted February 22, 2008; updated April 30, 2008)

In the Spotlight: Thomas Jefferson University and FAIMER Sign Memorandum of Understanding

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Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and FAIMER have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop an academic partnership. According to the Memorandum, which was signed in December 2007, the “purpose of this Affiliation is to formalize the Parties’ mutual commitment to engage in projects focused on faculty development, undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education of physicians, research in medical education, and the creation of better systems of health care delivery and community practice.”

There are many types of collaborative activities that might evolve from this affiliation. For example, members of the Jefferson community, both faculty and students, are interested in creating more opportunities for international education and service. FAIMER Fellows can assist Jefferson in this endeavor by identifying opportunities and contacts within their home countries and serving as faculty for visiting Jefferson students. For FAIMER Fellows in many countries, one of the greatest obstacles to advancing their educational scholarship is the inability to access the health professions education literature. The opportunity for Fellows to receive faculty appointments at Jefferson would mean that they would be able to access the library resources of a first-rate U.S. health sciences university.

This exciting partnership opens up many possibilities for health professions educators both in the United States and abroad.