In mid-August, FAIMER welcomed to Philadelphia the Directors and key faculty members from all five of FAIMER’s Regional Institutes in Brazil, India, and Southern Africa. Twenty-three representatives from the Regional Institutes joined eight FAIMER staff and consultants to convene the first ever “DAFFRI” workshop: an intensive five-day program designed to create opportunities for all participants to develop mutual understanding of the common values and needs of FAIMER Regional Institutes, contribute to crafting a shared vision and strategy for future development and sustainability, enhance their knowledge and skills as educators, and build an active, supportive global network of FAIMER Regional Institute stakeholders.
The program, entitled “Strengthening and Sustaining Regional Institutes: Vibrant Communities for Education and Health,” combined an “Appreciative Inquiry” planning process facilitated by FAIMER Institute Co-Director Page Morahan with knowledge building sessions on adult learning theory led by Bill Burdick, FAIMER Institute Co-Director and Associate Vice President for Education. Both were accompanied in presenting by Stewart Mennin, a health professions education consultant who has also served as an international faculty member at FAIMER Regional Institutes in India and Brazil.
A high-point of the program was a lively “Interactive Presence” workshop in which stage actor and arts educator Mary Beth Scallen guided participants in a series of exercises that raised their awareness of their own behaviors in the classroom and encouraged them to consciously use their own behaviors as teaching tools. This was followed by opportunities for all to practice interactive teaching techniques in presentation and feedback sessions.
Participants are now following up on action plans generated by “concept teams” in the workshop. The action plans address priority areas such as program development, faculty development, sustainability, standard operating procedures, and evaluation.
(posted September 24, 2007, updated September 28, 2007)
The CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute is a two-year part-time fellowship program designed for health professions faculty from South Asia who have the potential to play a key role in improving education at their schools. The program is uniquely designed to teach education methods and leadership skills, as well as to develop strong professional bonds with other health professions educators in the region. Residential sessions take place in Ludhiana, India. The first residential session will be held January 14 to 23, 2008. A proposal for an education innovation project, supported by the applicant’s school, is required for consideration, and projects that demonstrate a link to improved health in the community will be given higher priority.
Deadline for application submission is October 15, 2007.
FAIMER’s first Regional Institute, the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute, turned three years old in June 2007, as Seth G.S. Medical College in Mumbai, India welcomed 16 new Fellows for the beginning session of their two-year program, and welcomed back 16 Fellows from the 2006 class as they began their second on-site session. The new Fellows brought with them their ideas for education innovation projects to further develop with the help of a team of experienced local and international faculty. They were also able to benefit from the project development experiences of the 2006 Fellows, who presented final reports on their projects in poster sessions.
In addition to project work, Fellows participated in highly interactive instructional sessions on a variety of topics related to leadership, management, adult learning, research, and scholarship. They explored aspects of teamwork by crossing a snake-infested pit, learned about methods of conflict management that included an arm-wrestling contest, and developed their time-management skills by planning a mountain trek. The adventure continues in the intersession as the two groups and members of the faculty are providing mutual support and assistance while further developing projects, research, scholarship, and learning through a listserv and on-line discussion groups.
Sixteen medical educators from India, Nepal, and Iran took part in the first PSG‑FAIMER South Asia Regional Institute held in Coimbatore, India, April 16‑20, 2007. This newest Regional Institute was launched under the direction of Dr. Thomas Chacko, Professor and Head of Community Medicine and Medical Education at the PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research and a 2004 Fellow of the FAIMER Institute in Philadelphia. Dr. Chacko was joined in presenting this first session of the institute by 11 international and regional FAIMER faculty members as well as by 11 PSG colleagues.
Participants worked hard during the course of the week-long session on further developing and refining their education innovation projects while also advancing their knowledge and skills in team building and group dynamics, education research and evaluation, good teaching practices, distance learning, change and conflict management. Since completing the session, the participants have fully embraced their roles as co-mentors. The PSG-FAIMER listserv is virtually percolating with shared advice, resource recommendations, articles, experiences, questions, and expertise.
Twenty-five medical educators from schools throughout Brazil participated in the inaugural session of the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute held from February 1-10, 2007 in Tabuba, Brazil. The program, conducted in Portuguese, aimed to improve education methodology skills, leadership and management skills, and promote development of a community of educators in Brazil. It included sessions on small group dynamics, conflict management, change management, project planning, program evaluation, as well as student assessment, problem based learning, and bedside teaching. As in other FAIMER Institutes, refinement of education innovation projects served as an important focal point of Fellows’ learning. The program is directed by Institute Alumni Henry Campos from Universidad Federale do Ceará and Eliana Amaral from Universidade Estadual de Campinas, and receives major support from the Brazilian Ministry of Health. One goal of the Institute – developing a community of educators – is already well on its way. The Brazil-FAIMER listserv, started only two weeks ago, already has over 160 e-mail postings!
PSG Institute for Medical Sciences and Research in Coimbatore, India has become the latest addition to the family of FAIMER Regional Institutes. Coimbatore is located in Tamil Nadu in South Central India, significantly expanding the geographic presence of FAIMER Regional Institutes in South Asia. The PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute will follow the curriculum design model of the other Regional Institutes, with a required education innovation project as the focus of the two-year, part-time fellowship. The program will be headed by Thomas Chacko, Head of the Department of Community Health and Medical Education Unit, and is scheduled to hold its first session in April 2007. Applications are now being accepted.
(posted August 11, 2006, updated November 17, 2006, December 12, 2006, January 3, 2007, February 9, 2007)
Sixteen 2007 fellows and fourteen returning 2006 fellows met from January 10-16, 2007 in Ludhiana, India for the second CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute. Tejinder Singh, Chair of Pediatrics and Vice Principal of Christian Medical College, and FAIMER Institute Fellow, Class of 2003, is the director of this Regional Institute, providing leadership for fifteen institute faculty members, including seven former FAIMER Institute Fellows. One of the highlights was the poster presentation session, a highly interactive day during which returning Fellows presented and discussed the curriculum innovation projects they have been working on since the first session of the Regional Institute in January 2006. Projects included: the integration of interactive teaching into Surgery lectures; an investigation of the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for choosing a career in medicine of an entering class of Indian medical students; introduction of lifesaving techniques into the curriculum; and using computer-based self-assessment as a tool to promote learning. Other curriculum topics included program evaluation, student assessment, change management, problem-based learning, group dynamics, conflict management, educational scholarship, and qualitative research.
Francisco Campos, Brazilian Minister of Health Manpower; Kamal Dwivedi, Counselor of Science and Technology, Embassy of India; and Rosemary Fernandes, CEO, Phoenix Rose LLC, presented their visions of health manpower development in India and Brazil at the ECFMG/FAIMER Update Session at this year’s AAMC Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington. Francisco Campos, whose Ministry is funding the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute, emphasized the relationship between the Brazilian Pro Saudé program of the Brazilian Ministry of Health to increase access to health care services throughout the country and the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute. Kamal Dwivedi talked about the interest of the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to deepen education methodology and leadership skills of health professions educators through expansion of FAIMER Regional Institutes in that country. Ms. Fernandes currently has a project with the Indian health ministry to develop a network of community health centers in India and proposed alignment of FAIMER faculty development with India’s health center expansion efforts.
Faculty representing six of the eight medical schools in South Africa, including five FAIMER Fellows, as well as a FAIMER Fellow from Uganda, representing the anticipated development of an East Africa FAIMER Regional Institute, came together on November 6-7 in Cape Town, South Africa, to discuss plans for a Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) for health professions educators. Attendees discussed the existing strengths of health professions education in Southern Africa, as well as key areas in which they feel it can be changed and improved. Goals of the Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute, developed by participants at the meeting, will include deepening faculty knowledge and skills in leadership, planning and policy development, program evaluation, student assessment, learning and teaching methods in resource-limited environments, and education research. In addition, an important outcome of SAFRI will be greater funding and promotion of health professions education in Southern Africa.
The Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute is expected to begin in May 2008. Interested individuals should monitor the FAIMER website for additional information, which will be released as it becomes available.
The Ministry of Health in Brazil has signed an agreement to fund the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute. Management of the funding will be provided by the Pan American Health Organization. The agreement was drafted after Francisco Campos, Brazil’s Secretary for Health Manpower, attended the planning meeting of the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute in May, 2006, and soon after accompanied Bill Burdick and Page Morahan, Co-Directors of the Philadelphia FAIMER Institute, to the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute in Mumbai. In Mumbai, Dr. Campos observed the Regional Institute in action, and participated in the session on Change Management. Capacity building in health manpower is a priority of the government of Brazil and fits with the recent Pro Saúde Program to increase access to primary health care throughout the country. The experience of Regional Institute development in India will be used to support the development process in Brazil. Further South-South collaboration efforts between South America, Africa, and India are being pursued using the Brazil-Mumbai interaction as a model.