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.
Applications are now being accepted for the FAIMER Institute 2008. The FAIMER Institute is a two-year part-time fellowship program designed for international health professions faculty from South Asia, Africa, and Latin America who have the potential to play a key role in improving health professions education at their schools. The program, conducted in English, is uniquely designed to teach education methods and leadership skills, as well as to develop strong professional bonds with other health professions educators around the world. Residential sessions take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the first residential session (three weeks) beginning October 5, 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. Apply now.
A Memorandum of Understanding between FAIMER and the International Clinical Epidemiology Network Trust International (INCLEN Trust) was completed in June 2007. This memorandum expresses the organizations’ mutual commitment to engage in projects focused on research in medical education, faculty development, and the creation of data resources for and about international medical schools. By way of this agreement, FAIMER and INCLEN Trust intend to partner together in addressing issues and conducting activities related to international education and research.
INCLEN Trust is a non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen health care systems and improve health practices globally by providing professionals in the field with the tools to analyze the efficacy, efficiency, and equity of interventions and preventive measures. Targeting local, national, regional, and global health care needs, the organization’s goal is to improve the health of disadvantaged populations by promoting equitable health care through its global network of health professionals, by conducting collaborative interdisciplinary research on high-priority health problems, and by educating future generations of leaders in health care research. INCLEN Trust has Executive Offices in New Delhi, India, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its global network consists of seven regional networks: CanUSACLEN, ChinaCLEN, Euro-Mediterranean CLEN, INCLEN-Africa, INCLEN-Southeast Asia, IndiaCLEN, and LatinCLEN. These seven regional networks are made up of over 1,500 members, representing 79 clinical epidemiology units that span 33 countries.
In signing this Memorandum of Understanding, FAIMER and INCLEN Trust hope to initiate cooperation in the areas of capacity building and targeted research. This collaboration is designed to capitalize on the broad expertise and network of international contacts built separately by each organization, with the aim of enhancing the activities of both organizations and better achieving their common goal of improving health in regions of greatest need. The objectives of the collaboration will initially include, but not be limited to, the following:
development of educational programs for educators, especially in developing regions of South Asia, Latin America, and Africa, with the goal of improving the integration of knowledge of local community health needs and health professions education;
strengthening the capacity of both organizations’ networks; and
development of common proposals for initiating educational programs and targeted research, and exploration of funding opportunities for this purpose.
Interactive teaching in a multi-cultural context was the theme of a two-day workshop at the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm conducted by Bill Burdick, Associate Vice President for Education, FAIMER, and Jonas Nordquist, Director, Medical Case Center, KI, during the first week in June. Engaging adult learners in discussions that push them to their frontiers of knowledge is a challenging, but essential role for educators. It values and uses the knowledge they bring to the endeavor of learning, and allows them to move to areas of authentic interest and concern, while recognizing the vulnerability of adult learners. The challenge of discussion leadership is even greater when participants are from different cultures. Through a combination of case discussions, appreciative inquiry, and personal project discussions, participants developed strategies for achieving this ambitious goal.
In May 2007, a two-day workshop was held at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) that focused on assessment in the medical school. The agenda for the workshops was developed in collaboration with the Dean of the medical school and the topics addressed included 1) the mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (mini-CEX), 2) the structured oral examination, 3) setting standards, and 4) the assessment of professionalism. Ara Tekian, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medical Education and Director of International Affairs in the Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago, and John Norcini, Ph.D., FAIMER President, conducted the workshops.
Approximately 40 JUST medical school faculty members attended the workshops, representing all of the basic and clinical departments as well as the administration. The workshops included large and small group discussions, role playing, and analysis of videotaped examinations. Throughout the small group sessions, participants were given the opportunity to apply their newly acquired concepts in their own environment and reflect on their applicability and usefulness.
During the two days, the participants were encouraged to ask questions about these or other relevant assessment topics in both the undergraduate and postgraduate arenas. Participants were also given an opportunity at the end of the workshop to reflect and develop an action plan for both the short and the long term.
Improvements in the assessment system at JUST might have a positive influence well beyond the medical school. JUST is one of the leading institutions in Jordan and advances are likely to be noted by others in the region.
As a side benefit of the workshop, the faculty met with the Jordanian Medical Council and presented information on assessment in the postgraduate setting.
Fundamentals of Assessment in Medical Education (FAME), a basic-level course on educational assessment, will be introduced at the next Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) meeting August 25-29, 2007 in Trondheim, Norway. FAME targets individuals who are members of medical faculties and who are likely to be relatively new to teaching and assessment. Persons who have assumed new responsibilities for assessment are also likely to benefit from the course. FAME is designed around two complementary dimensions, five assessment themes (Test Design; Test Material Development; Standard Setting; and Scoring, Analysis, and Reporting) and four assessment frames (Assessment of Knowledge and Reasoning, Assessment of Clinical Skills, Assessment of Workplace Performance, and Assessment of Programs).
The course schedule will include one and one-half pre-conference days consisting of plenary and small group sessions. Small group work will be organized around the four frames listed above, culminating with faculty facilitators preparing a conference itinerary for the participants in each of the frames. During the AMEE conference, faculty and participants will meet daily over lunch to review sessions attended. At the conclusion of the AMEE conference, faculty will sum up the course experience, address remaining questions from participants, and discuss possible future study.
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.
The 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), The World of Educational Quality, took place from April 9-13 in Chicago, Illinois. The meeting highlighted significant research around the globe to improve educational systems, address access and opportunity, and strengthen student learning and achievement. Through approximately 2,400 peer-reviewed research symposia, panels, and other scholarly sessions, some of the most important work being done across disciplines and areas of inquiry were presented and considered at the meeting. Presidents and others in the leadership of many international research associations presented to more than 1,500 international participants.
FAIMER staff presentations (with FAIMER staff listed in bold) included:
Evaluating the spoken English proficiency of international medical graduates as part of the USMLE™ Step 2 CS exam.
*Marta J. Van Zanten, John R. Boulet, Danette W. McKinley, Andre F. de Champlain
The relationship between patient satisfaction and clinical competence in a standardized patient assessment.
*Danette W. McKinley, John R. Boulet, Marta J. Van Zanten
Two FAIMER Institute alumni have been selected to pursue Master’s degrees in health professions education through FAIMER’s International Fellowship in Medical Education (IFME) program. Edwin Nwobodo, Ph.D., from the Institute Class of 2004 will enter the Master of Health Professions Education program at Maastricht University; and Avinash Supe, M.B.B.S., M.S., from the Institute Class of 2002, will enter the Master of Health Professions Education program at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
The IFME program provides support for alumni of the FAIMER Institute to pursue advanced degrees at institutions around the world that have distance learning programs. These programs may include a brief residential requirement. Participants complete an extensive application and select from a list of approved institutions. IFME Fellows are then selected by FAIMER.
The IFME program is part of FAIMER’s faculty development pathway, which prepares participants to implement curricular improvements at their home institutions that can lead to better health care. Fellows who complete this pathway will also be better qualified to take a leadership role in developing Regional Institutes, centers of ongoing activity that support curricular innovations aimed at addressing local heath care needs.