A new FAIMER Regional Institute for Spanish-speaking health professions educators from Latin America and the Caribbean will begin in April 2014 in Colombia. Applications for this new fellowship program, the FAIMER Regional Institute in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRILA), are now open.
The FRILA program offers health professions educators the opportunity to learn new education methods and management and leadership skills, as well as develop strong professional bonds with other health professions educators from Latin America and the Caribbean. The program, conducted in Spanish, includes two residential sessions (Sessions 1 and 3) that take place one year apart in Colombia, and two 11-month distance learning sessions (Sessions 2 and 4) following the residential sessions.
In early December a workshop and preliminary planning meeting was held in Bogota, Colombia to explore the potential for a future FAIMER Regional Institute for Latin America. The meeting was hosted by the Asociación Colombiana de Facultades de Medicina (ASCOFAME). In addition to deans and other representatives of ASCOFAME-affiliated medical schools, the meeting was attended by Colombian FAIMER Fellows Ricardo Borda, Martha Delgado, Luis Dominguez, Francisco Lamus, Ivan Solarte, and Marco Sosa. These Fellows are among the group of Spanish speaking Fellows who belong to the FAIMER Regional Initiative in Latin America (FRILA)interest group. FAIMER was represented by William Burdick, FAIMER Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute, and Ralf Graves, Associate Director, Regional Institutes. The enthusiasm and positive feedback resulting from the meeting has led to subsequent activities amongst these stakeholders to further develop the ideas that were generated by attendees.
The annual conference of The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) took place in Bogotá, Colombia, from September 27 to October 2, 2008. FAIMER staff and Fellows played an active role at the conference. FAIMER staff included John R. Boulet, Associate Vice President for Research and Data Resources, and William Burdick, Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute. FAIMER Fellows included Elena Barragan (PHIL 2003), Mary Bermudez-Gomez (PHIL 2007), Ivan Solarte (PHIL 2007), Paulo Carvalho (PHIL 2006), Sarah Kiguli (PHIL 2004), Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde (PHIL 2005), and Samuel Maling (SAFRI 2008).
Prior to the conference, Dr. Burdick led a workshop on educational objectives for the faculty at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. The workshop was conducted to support the work of Drs. Bermudez-Gomez and Solarte, who are leading a major curriculum restructuring effort at the school. Approximately 50 faculty members from the School of Medicine took part in the practicum and worked in teams to create educational objectives and develop related student assessment methods.
On September 27, a pre-conference workshop was held on research methods in medical education. Drs. Burdick and Boulet presented an introduction to research methods along with Dr. Bermudez-Gomez and Donald Pathman, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Education for Health, the peer-reviewed journal of The Network: TUFH, and Professor and Research Director at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Participants in the workshop then developed research questions relevant to projects at their own institutions, and designed research strategies to address those questions. Participants came from Argentina, Colombia, India, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, Sudan, and Uganda.
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 www.the-networktufh.org/conference/.
(posted February 22, 2008; updated April 30, 2008)