Launch of Websites for FAIMER Regional Initiatives

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New websites for each of the five FAIMER Regional Institutes as well as a new site for the FAIMER Regional Initiative in Latin America (FRILA) were launched in the second half of 2010. Each website will be managed by local FAIMER faculty. News, announcements, Fellow highlights, and other communications of potential interest to a region can be sent directly to the webmaster of the appropriate site for evaluation and possible posting. We invite you to visit these sites, whose links are below, and hope that they will contribute to strengthening regional communication and to expanding your awareness about FAIMER activities.

FAIMER Fellows Conducting Workshops

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In July, Venu Gopala Rao Tanneru (CMCL 2007) and Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences conducted a one-day workshop on Reforms in Medical Education. Sixty principals from several of Dr. NTR University’s affiliated medical and dental colleges gathered in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, to identify the strengths and weaknesses of India’s medical education system and discuss the implementation of reforms that would improve the areas of weakness. Topics included improving tools for evaluating medical education; developing an accreditation system; improving faculty retention; using technology; and encouraging continuous professional development, research, and publication. The government of India is expected to take the recommendations of this working group under consideration when contemplating changes to medical education policy in the country.

Twenty-five participants from Maharashtra state attended the Third Basic Medical Education Technology Workshop, held July 1-2, 2010, at the Regional Center for National Faculty Development at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha. Topics included educational objectives, taxonomy of learning, teaching methods and media, giving effective feedback, and group dynamics, among others. Professor and regional center faculty member Nitin Gaikwad (GSMC 2009) led several sessions. July marked the first anniversary of the designation of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha, as a regional center in India’s nationwide faculty development program. In addition to the three medical education technology workshops, the center conducted workshops on writing grants, writing scientific papers, and a two-part advanced workshop on evidenced-based medicine, all in its first year.

In Nagpur, India, N. K. P. Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre conducted a three-day basic faculty development course for 25 faculty members from July 27 to 29, 2010. Suresh Chari (GSMC 2009) is Professor of Biochemistry and Director of Research and the Medical Education Technology (MET) Unit at the university, and this course was based on his FAIMER fellowship innovation project. Fellows Shubhada Anant Gade (CMCL 2010) and Sushil Pande (GSMC 2009) assisted Dr. Chari in conducting this course for their colleagues. Nitin Gaikwad attended as an official observer representing the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) nationwide faculty development program. MCI officially recognized the MET Unit course and granted permission for it to be conducted twice annually.

The Medical Education Unit at Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, held its second faculty development workshop on basic medical education technologies from July 29 to 31, 2010, in Gujarat, India. Pramukhswami Medical College faculty members Himanshu Pandya (CMCL 2007), Praveen R. Singh (CMCL 2008), Suman P. Singh (CMCL 2008), Shushil Kumar Singh (GSMC 2010), and Uday Shankar Singh (GSMC 2008) each led sessions, as did Chetna Desai (CMCL 2007) from B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad. Topics included educational objectives, group dynamics, microteaching, problem-based learning, assessment, objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), and the mini-clinical evaluation exercise (mini-CEX). Thirty health professions educators from the institutions of H. M. Patel Centre for Medical Care & Education participated in the workshop, which was directed by Dr. Pandya and coordinated by Dr. Shushil Kumar Singh.

In August, Savita Marathe (GSMC 2008) and the Department of Medical Education & Technology at Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) conducted their Fourth Advanced Course on Health Sciences Education Technology at MUHS Regional Centre, Pune. The goal of this faculty development course is to enhance skills that participants can use to make educational improvements at their own institutions. Participants are required to conduct a small education project at their home institution. Nearly 100 educators from various health sciences institutions across Maharashtra state have attended this course in the four times it has been offered.

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

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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.

FAIMER Fellows Conducting Workshops

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In April, the regional center for faculty development at Christian Medical College, Ludhiana (CMCL) conducted a three-day workshop on basic medical education that featured FAIMER’s core interactive methodology. Forty participants from 10 medical colleges attended the workshop, as did an official observer from India’s nationwide faculty development program. A number of the participants were medical education coordinators who indicated that they plan to initiate similar sessions at their own institutions. FAIMER Fellows comprised the workshop faculty and included CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Director Tejinder Singh (PHIL 2003), Dinesh Badyal (PHIL 2009), Jugesh Chhatwal (PHIL 2007), Harpreet Kapoor (CMCL 2006), Gagandeep Kwatra (CMCL 2006), Monika Sharma (CMCL 2007), Sheena Singh (CMCL 2006), and Inderpreet Sohi (CMCL 2006).

In May, FAIMER Fellow Noor Ahsen (PHIL 2006) completed an eight-week faculty development workshop on research methodology for mid-career faculty members at Shalamar Medical & Dental College in Lahore, Pakistan. Session topics included the use of inductive and deductive reasoning in science and research, probability sampling techniques, the peer review process and peer-reviewed journals, manuscript writing, research designs, and statistical data analysis. Workshop participants gave positive feedback and expressed a desire for future workshops for mid-career capacity building in research. This is the second eight-week medical education workshop that Dr. Ahsen has led at Shalamar Medical & Dental College since arriving in September 2009.

Venu Gopala Rao Tanneru (CMCL 2007) reported that his institution, Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, organized several faculty development workshops in May and June that were attended by more than 60 faculty members from the university’s 32 affiliated medical colleges. Session topics included basic training and orientation, medical education technology (MET), and the sustainability of MET units. The workshops were held in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, at Gandhi Medical College, an affiliate of Dr. NTR University and a designated regional center in India’s nationwide faculty development program.

Fouzia Shersad (GSMC 2009) served as project manager of the DMC Medical Education Symposium 2010, which was held in May at Dubai Medical College (DMC) in the United Arab Emirates. This continuing education symposium is the fourth in a series of faculty development programs at DMC that focused on best practices in medical education and the professional development of doctors in community health education. The 2010 Symposium featured numerous speakers, including Professor Hossam Hamdy, Vice Chancellor for Medical Colleges and Dean, College of Medicine at University of Sharjah, who addressed the topic of “Assessment in Medical Education.” More than 150 medical educators, practitioners, residents, and interns attended the symposium. In 2009 Dr. Shersad, a senior faculty member and Director of the Institutional Effectiveness Unit at DMC, became the first representative from the United Arab Emirates to join the FAIMER network.

2010 CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute

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The first residential session of the 2010 CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute took place January 12-18 in Ludhiana, India, under the direction of Tejinder Singh. The 2010 CMCL-FAIMER Fellows are:

Sanam Anwar, M.B.B.S., M.D., D.N.B. (Social and Preventive Medicine), Oman Medical College, Muscat, Oman

Preeti Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D., Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, India

Palash Das, M.B.B.S., M.D., D.P.H., Midnapore Medical College, Midnapore, India

Shubhada Anant Gade, M.B.B.S., M.D., D.G.O., N.K.P. Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Nagpur, India

Atul Goel, M.B.B.S., M.D., Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India

Shyamala Handattu Hande, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal, India

Mohammed Ahmed Hassanien, M.S., M.Ed., Ph.D. (Clinical Biochemistry), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Anil Kapoor, M.B.B.S., M.D., People’s College of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal, India

Anisha Kellogg, M.B.B.S., M.D., Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India

Tamkin Khan, M.B.B.S., M.D., Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh, India

Dinesh Kumar, M.B.B.S., M.D., Government Medical College, Jammu, India

Sarabmeet Singh Lehl, M.B.B.S., M.D., Government Medical College, Chandigarh, India

Babu Raja Maharjan, M.Sc. (Medical Biochemistry), Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal

Dipta Kanti Mukhopadhyay, M.B.B.S., M.D., Bankura Sammilani Medical College, Bankura, India

Ramesh Kumar Narula, M.B.B.S., M.S., D.Ortho., Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital, Bareilly, India

Rana Arun Gopal Krishan Pal, M.D., Genesis Institute of Dental Sciences and Research, Ferozepur, India

Mugdha Potnis-Lele, Ph.D., Maharashtra University of Health Sciences Regional Centre, Pune, India

Punita Salwan, M.S., Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Science and Research, Amristar, India

Sunita Jayant Vagha, M.B.B.S., M.D., Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha, India

Phagalvarthi Vasudevan Vijayaraghavan, M.B.B.S., D.Ortho., D.N.B.Ortho., M.Ch. (Orthopedics), Sri Ramachandra University and Medical Centre, Chennai, India

(posted January 8, 2010; updated January 25, 2010; March 30, 2010)

2010 CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Awarded CME Credit Hours by Punjab Medical Council

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The Punjab Medical Council has announced that Fellows participating in Sessions 1 and 2 of the 2010 CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute will be eligible for 20 and 14 continuing medical education (CME) hours, respectively. This is the first time that CME credit hours will be awarded to participants in the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute by the Punjab Medical Council, which requires that 50 CME hours be completed every five years for renewal of license to practice medicine. The decision is noteworthy because it is indicative of the fact that medical education is being considered on par with other clinical disciplines, according to CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Director Tejinder Singh.

CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Faculty Conducts Workshop in Support of Medical Council of India Program

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Faculty from the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute (CMCL-FRI) conducted a four-day faculty development workshop during the first week of September at Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India.

CMCL-FRI Director Tejinder Singh (PHIL 2003), CMCL-FRI Secretary Dinesh Badyal (CMCL 2007, PHIL 2009), Jugesh Chhatwal (PHIL 2007), Sheena Singh (CMCL 2006), Harpreet Kapoor (CMCL 2006, PHIL 2008), and Gagandeep Kwatra (CMCL 2006) led the workshop, which showcased interactive educational methodologies.

The first day of this event aimed specifically to develop the skills of Medical Education Unit (MEU) coordinators. Participants were taught how to effectively plan and deliver their own educational workshops. The session also emphasized organizational and planning tools, such as Gantt charts and backwards planning to illustrate project schedules, and faculty guides, syllabi, and other learning resource materials. A variety of program evaluation tools was also highlighted.

The first of its kind to target MEUs in India, this workshop generated a good deal of enthusiasm and positive feedback from the 32 participants, who came from various medical schools across the north of India. Some participants expressed excitement that the skills they were learning could be applied in everyday classroom teaching as well as in workshop planning. A three-day training session in basic educational methods followed the workshop and demonstrated many of the techniques in actual practice.

CMCL-FRI devised this workshop in support of MCI’s nationwide faculty development program to advance health professions education at Indian medical colleges. As part of this national program, MCI has designated eight schools, including two that are home to FAIMER Regional Institutes, as resource centers for other schools. CMCL-FRI will focus on the educational development needs of 31 regional schools from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. For further information on MCI’s nationwide faculty development program, click here.

The planning and logistics of this CMCL-FRI event were sent to MCI so it could be replicated by other regional centers.

Medical Council of India Launches National Faculty Development Program

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The Academic Cell of the Medical Council of India (MCI) recently initiated efforts to advance medical education units at Indian medical colleges through a formal, nationwide faculty development program. As part of this program, MCI identified ten schools to support faculty development activities in their respective regions. These schools will teach workshops on various aspects of medical education to faculty from schools in their region, focusing on faculty members from each school’s medical education unit. These faculty will in turn lead workshops in education for teachers at their own schools.

A subset of the ten schools, including two that are home to FAIMER Regional Institutes, will serve as resource centers for the other designated centers. Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, home to the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute, led its inaugural workshop for faculty in September 2009. The other nodal centers, including Seth G.S. Medical College, home to the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute in Mumbai, will begin conducting workshops shortly.

In addition to establishing nodal centers, MCI has required that all faculty in India take a basic course in medical education. Together, the requirement for basic medical education courses and the support and direction of specified education centers provide a national framework for faculty development in India. These advances have come about, in large part, as a result of the leadership and advocacy of FAIMER Fellows in India and the example set by FAIMER’s Regional Institutes.


(posted October 30, 2009; updated November 23, 2009)

CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Faculty Conducts Workshop in Bhopal, India

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Faculty from the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute (CMCL-FRI) conducted a two-day medical education workshop at Gandhi Medical College (GMC) in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, August 7–8, 2009. This is the fourth outreach activity undertaken by the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute faculty. CMCL-FRI Director Tejinder Singh (PHIL 2003), CMCL-FRI Secretary Dinesh Badyal (CMCL 2007), Jugesh Chhatwal (PHIL 2007), and Gagandeep Kwatra (CMCL 2006) led faculty development sessions employing interactive FAIMER methodologies. The first day of the workshop focused on learning principles, including a new session on taxonomy of learning. The second day was devoted to assessment sessions, including reliability, validity, and applicability of various types of assessment methods. A full setup for objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE) and objective structured practical examinations (OSPE) was created to provide a real feel for these methods to participants.

There were 35 participants from GMC and Peoples Medical College, Bhopal, including five faculty members from GMC’s Medical Education Unit (MEU). Dean of GMC Dr. Nirbhay Srivastava highlighted the qualities of a good medical teacher and emphasized how faculty development workshops can improve teaching–learning activities. Dr Neelkamal Kapoor (CMCL 2009), Coordinator of GMC-MEU, stated that this was the first time that such a workshop, with interactive methodology, was conducted at GMC. She added that it prepared them to conduct a second workshop with local facilitators only, an important objective of the CMCL program. The CMCL team also used the gathering as an opportunity to give a brief introduction on FAIMER Regional Institutes and the application process.

Feedback on the workshop was very positive, and all the participants appreciated the way they were kept involved throughout all sessions. At the closing ceremonies, Dr. V.K. Saini, Director of Medical Education, Madhya Pradesh, said that Government is making all efforts to help organize similar workshops for all medical teachers in the state. Dr. Tejinder Singh appreciated the efforts of local organizers for providing a very conducive atmosphere for the workshop.

National Consultative Meeting on Medical Education Standards Held in Nepal

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Organized by 2009 CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Fellow Angel Magar through the Nepal Medical Association, a meeting on medical education in Nepal was held June 28, 2009, in Kathmandu. Entitled “National Consultative Meeting on Undergraduate vs. Postgraduate’s Seats: Rationale, Challenges and Future Prospective in Nepal,” the meeting addressed the imbalance between the number of medical graduates (approximately 2,000) in Nepal per year and the number of postgraduate seats (approximately 375) available to them. Dr. Magar explained that “with the introduction of privatization in the early 1990s, medical education in Nepal took a giant leap in terms of opening new medical colleges,” but that a corresponding growth in the number of positions for graduates has not materialized. Some physicians may pursue careers outside of Nepal, but Dr. Magar points out that the backlog of unplaced physicians may be growing by as much as 1,500 per year, and that “if Nepal doesn’t address the issue in time, there might be a catastrophe in this field.” More than 72 stakeholders took part in the meeting, including representatives from Nepal’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Higher Technical Committee, Planning Commission, and Medical Council, as well as principals, deans, and vice chancellors from Nepal’s colleges, a representative from the World Health Organization, and other Nepalese medical educationists.

All participants in the meeting agreed that there is a need for change in Nepal’s medical education system, and they resolved on the following recommendations:

  • Increase the number of postgraduate positions by 40% (at least for the short term).
  • Establish a Medical Education Bureau to govern the medical education system in Nepal.
  • Introduce a licensing examination for undergraduates and postgraduates to ensure quality.
  • Institute a common entrance examination.

The Nepal Medical Association will forward these recommendations to the concerned authorities and institutions and will continue to advocate for the changes.

Dr. Magar credits Open University’s Distance Learning Resources for Medical Education program for giving him the inspiration and tools to tackle the issues in his home country. Developed by FAIMER and the World Federation for Medical Education in collaboration with Open University Centre for Education in Medicine in the United Kingdom, the Distance Learning Resources for Medical Education program was created with the understanding that medical education needs worldwide could not be met using conventional training courses. The program includes a series of distance learning modules that focuses on accreditation and standards for medical education institutions with an emphasis on finding practical ways of dealing with their local circumstances.