FAIMER Fellows Collaborate to Conduct Faculty Development Workshops

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During February and March, FAIMER Fellows conducted a number of health professions education workshops covering topics that ranged from microteaching to organizing a medical education unit. Fellows, some collaborating cross-institutionally, networked and supported one another to conduct workshops for medical education faculty in the clinical, basic, and community health sciences departments at several schools.

The Medical Education & Technology (MET) Unit of the N. K. P. Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Nagpur, India, recently conducted an interactive, two-day workshop on problem-based learning for 20 faculty members. Fellows Rashmi Vyas (PHIL 2003) from Christian Medical College, Vellore, and Anshu (CMCL 2007, PHIL 2009) from Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram, each led sessions, and Shubhada Anant Gade (CMCL 2010) participated in the workshop. Suresh Chari (GSMC 2009), Director of Research and the MET Unit, reported that participants gave positive feedback and expressed excitement about implementing what they had learned.

Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) in Kathmandu, Nepal, recently conducted a three-day core faculty development workshop. Session topics included preparing oral presentations and course materials, student feedback and assessment, standards setting, microteaching, and problem-based learning. This was PAHS’s first faculty development workshop conducted entirely by in-house faculty, with Fellows Shital Bhandary (PSG 2008) serving as course director, and Shambhu Upadhyay (GSMC 2009) and Babu Raja Maharjan (CMCL 2010) serving as resource persons. Twenty faculty members from clinical specialties and basic and community health sciences participated. PAHS plans to conduct the workshop biannually and make attendance mandatory for all new faculty members.

The Medical Education Unit (MEU) at Sri Ramachandra University and Medical Centre is a designated Regional Center for approximately 30 medical colleges in the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) nationwide faculty development program. The MEU recently conducted a four-day workshop for 23 medical education unit coordinators from across the region. The highly interactive course used adult learning principles and practical workshop sessions with case scenarios. Phagalvarthi Vasudevan Vijayaraghavan (CMCL 2010), Dean of Education at Sri Ramachandra University, led a session on change management. Other session topics included learning styles and group dynamics, organizing a medical education unit, taxonomy, goals and educational objectives, teaching-learning methods and media, microteaching, small and large group teaching, student assessment, objective structured clinical and practical examinations (OSCE and OSPE), and professionalism. Rashmi Vyas also attended this workshop, serving as a resource person and observer.

The Medical Education Teaching & Technology (METT) Unit at Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai, India, conducted a three-day, faculty development workshop for 26 faculty members from both clinical and para-clinical departments at the college. Sessions focused on educational objectives, microteaching, OSCE and OSPE, audiovisual aids, and multiple choice question (MCQ) formulation, among other topics. Participants reportedly praised the interactivity and diversity of methods used to structure the sessions, and said they developed useful skills for the teaching-learning process. Ten of the 21-member METT Unit committee are FAIMER Fellows: Sunita D. Deshpande (GSMC 2005), Sarita D. Fernandes (GSMC 2005), Bachi T. Hathiram (GSMC 2007), Anuradha M. Kanhere (GSMC 2005), Sunita Koutarapu (GSMC 2005), Vrinda K. Kulkarni (GSMC 2007), Jayashri Pandya (GSMC 2009), and Henal Shah (GSMC 2006, PHIL 2008) from Topiwala National Medical College; Ashwini Karve (GSMC 2006) from Seth G.S. Medical College; and Vinaya Shah (GSMC 2007) from B.Y.L. Nair Charitable Hospital.

FAIMER Fellows Lead Faculty Development Workshop at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College

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The Regional Center for Faculty Development at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Megge Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University) in Wardha, India, conducted its 2nd Basic Course in Medical Education Technologies, a faculty development workshop held December 21-23, 2009. FAIMER Fellows Nitin Gaikwad (GSMC 2009), Alka Rawekar (CMCL 2009), Jayant Vagha (CMCL 2009), and Sunita Jayant Vagha (CMCL 2010) all led sessions, along with other members of the Datta Megge Institute faculty. Twenty-five health professions education faculty members from the state of Maharashtra participated in the workshop, which was convened by Sunita Jayant Vagha. Workshop sessions included teaching and learning processes, the systems approach, educational objectives, interpersonal skills, microteaching, group dynamics, giving feedback, adult learning, multiple choice questions, and objective structured clinical and practical examinations (OSCE and OSPE).

The 2nd Basic Course in Medical Education Technologies continued the Regional Center’s ongoing training efforts as part of the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) nationwide faculty development program. The Regional Center was established on July 1, 2009, and the 1st Basic Course was conducted July 1-3. In addition to the Basic Courses, the Center is also conducting a meeting of coordinators of the medical education units of its 30 affiliated colleges on March 7. The goal of the meeting will be to provide guidance and support to the colleges and to arrange to conduct basic workshops at each of the schools.

M.S. Ramaiah Medical College Chosen as Hub for New Virtual Classroom Network

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In support of the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) nationwide faculty development initiative, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Karnataka has announced plans to build a satellite-based virtual classroom network that eventually will include 78 of the university’s affiliated medical and dental institutions across the state of Karnataka. M.S. Ramaiah Medical College (MSRMC) has been selected as the site for the main broadcasting studio, and each of the member institutions will be equipped with receiving stations.

As the relay hub for the network, the MSRMC studio will feature a digitally enabled lecture platform where workshops and presentations can be broadcast live, with real-time, two-way interaction, or recorded. The platform, which is being built by the high-tech education company Everonn, supports audio, video, and other presentation tools such as PowerPoint.

This new virtual system will advance faculty development throughout the RGUHS network by optimizing the university’s resources. Trained medical educators from each of the satellite medical education cells will be able to deliver high-quality lectures and workshops in various specialties to the virtual classrooms.

MSRMC was chosen as the broadcasting hub for its wealth of trained and committed educators, including eight FAIMER Fellows, all of whom will be involved with the studio programming when it goes live in January 2010. Venkatesh Doreswamy (PHIL 2007) has considerable experience developing virtual classroom content, and he has served on several committees and as a coordinator on this project beginning with conceptualization and now through implementation.

The virtual classroom network will help overcome staff shortages, reduce the overall program costs, lessen travel time, and ultimately train the greatest number of faculty members. Virtual classrooms at nearly 20 institutions will be operational when the network launches in January with the balance expected to come online by the end of March.

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.

CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute Faculty Conduct Workshop in Gwalior, India

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CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute faculty in Gwalior, India: Gagandeep Kwatra, Dinesh Badyal, Tejinder Singh, and Sheena Singh
Gwalior workshop faculty from the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute against the backdrop of historic Gwalior fort, from left to right: Gagandeep Kwatra, Dinesh Badyal, Tejinder Singh, and Sheena Singh

Faculty from the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute (CMCL-FRI) conducted a medical education workshop at the Gajra Raja Medical College in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India, April 10–11, 2009. Dinesh Badyal (CMCL 2007), Gagandeep Kwatra (CMCL 2006), Sheena Singh (CMCL 2006), and CMCL-FRI Director Tejinder Singh (PHIL 2003) led faculty development sessions employing interactive FAIMER teaching methodologies. The major focus of the program was to equip the participants with skills to provide formative feedback to students in various settings. The sessions on assessment and clinical teaching were used to emphasize the beneficial effect of feedback on student learning.

Participants included six local faculty members who had been trained in India’s National Teacher Training Center (NTTC) program, including the Dean of the College, Dr. S. Sapre. Comparisons between NTTC and FAIMER proved interesting, with FAIMER generally considered the more interactive of the two programs. Dr. Sapre noted that the FAIMER team kept all participants engaged for the entire duration of the workshop, ensured their participation, and prepared them to conduct a second workshop with local facilitators only, an important objective of the program.

The CMCL team also used the workshop as an opportunity to give a brief presentation on FAIMER Regional Institutes.

Dr. Tejinder Singh noted that the participants were very receptive overall, and that an encouraging atmosphere was created prior to the event, thanks to the efforts of local organizers. Dr. A. G. Shingwekar, who coordinated the event, had also invited five “observers” from other medical colleges in the state, and the event was very well covered by the local press. Feedback on the workshop was very positive.

Faculty Development Efforts Continue in Maharashtra, India, with Consultation of Deans

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As part their ongoing collaborative efforts to improve medical education in India through capacity building, FAIMER and the Department of Medical Education and Technology (MET) of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) organized the All Maharashtra Deans Consultation, a meeting of deans of the 41 medical schools associated with MUHS. The meeting, which took place January 12 and 13, 2009, in Pune, set the following objectives:

  • Help develop a comprehensive plan for strengthening faculty development in medical education in Maharashtra to promote changes in teaching methodologies and curriculum revision.
  • Develop the skills of educational leaders in change management and provide tools and strategies for managing change in teaching methods in medical education.
  • Identify priority areas for future faculty development programs at the MUHS MET department.
  • Develop strategies for better synergy between medical colleges in the state and the MUHS MET Department.

FAIMER Fellows taking part in the meeting included Payal Bansal (PHIL 2007), Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002), Rita Sood (PHIL 2005), Vivek Saoji (PHIL 2003), and Arun Jamkar (PHIL 2004). Facilitating the meeting was William Burdick, FAIMER’s Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute. Other stakeholders in the meeting included the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Medical Council of India, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Maharashtran Ministry of Health.

Following sessions that included brainstorming, affinity mapping, presentations, and group work, four key areas emerged for promoting faculty development in India:

  • strengthening the medical education units of colleges,
  • faculty assessment,
  • incentives for teaching faculty,
  • education research.

An important outcome of the meeting was a plan to create an on-line discussion group to support continued networking of participants and to discover synergies among the different institutions as faculty development plans move forward.

Feedback on the meeting was very positive. Participants appreciated the interactive processes employed as well as the spirit of cooperation embraced by so many leaders.