WFME–Iran Joint International Congress on Implementation of WFME Standards in Undergraduate Medical Education

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The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)–Iran Joint International Congress on Implementation of WFME Standards in Undergraduate Medical Education took place on Kish Island, Iran, from November 6-9, 2008. The conference was organized by Elaheh Malakan Rad (PSG 2007), Chair of the Secretariat for Undergraduate Medical Education, and conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran. There were more than 500 participants from 48 universities in Iran, as well as 16 presenters representing eight countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Themes of the congress included Standards and Accreditation, Curriculum and Curricular Reforms, and Assessment and Evaluation.

More than 80 lectures and 200 posters were presented over the course of the four days. In addition to the more formal lectures and workshops held at the congress, two informal “Meet the Experts” sessions were held to provide participants with the opportunity to ask questions of keynote lecturers and network with prominent members of the health professions education community. Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002), Director of the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute; Janet Grant, Director of the Centre for Education in Medicine at the Open University in the United Kingdom and Senior Mentor at the Philadelphia FAIMER Institute; and Thomas Chacko (PHIL 2004), Director of the PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute, served as experts in these sessions and contributed to the congress as workshop leaders and presenters.

Dr. Supe led a workshop on “How to Get Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals” and gave talks on “Accreditation of Medical Schools in India: Lessons Learned from Indian Experiences” and “Competency-based Surgical Education.” Prof. Grant led an international workshop on “Distance Learning” and gave talks on “Curriculum and Quality in Medical Education” and “Program Evaluation.” Dr. Chacko led workshops on “Academic Leadership” and “Accreditation in Undergraduate Medical Education” and lectured on “Faculty Development: The Need for a Comprehensive Approach.” Dr. Malakan Rad added to her contributions with a lecture on “Standard Setting in Examinations.”

Dr. Supe praised the work of Dr. Malakan Rad in coordinating the event and noted that “the enthusiasm of participants and [contributors] was beyond expectations.” He indicated that the impact of the congress on health professions education in Iran should be far-reaching. Professor Bahram Einollahi, Deputy Minister of Educational Affairs and Chair of the Congress, formally acknowledged the guidance of both Prof. Janet Grant and John Norcini, President and CEO of FAIMER, in making the congress a success.

International Congress on Implementation of WFME Standards in Curricula of Undergraduate Medical Education: November 7-9, 2008

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The Ministry of Health and Medical Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in collaboration with the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), is hosting an International Congress on Implementation of WFME Standards in Curricula of Undergraduate Medical Education. The Congress will take place November 7-9, 2008, on Kish Island, Islamic Republic of Iran. Themes will include: practical tips and guidelines regarding global reports of the implementation of the WFME standards; content of curricula and curriculum outcomes; teaching and learning methods; integrated curriculum models; assessment methods; organization of curriculum content; curriculum management; linkage of undergraduate and postgraduate curricula; and curriculum evaluation. Practical workshops will also be held on topics such as curriculum integration; program evaluation; accreditation in undergraduate medical education; distance learning; and assessment of students in undergraduate medical education.

The organizers of the Congress have invited many international experts to discuss practical issues on medical education in a friendly and open atmosphere, in the hopes of developing collaborative networks aimed at improving the quality of medical education throughout the world. The deadline for abstract submission is September 30, 2008. For more information, visit the conference website.

Medical Education in Iran Undergoing Reform

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FAIMER President John Norcini pictured with conference attendees
John J. Norcini, Ph.D., (seated, 4th from left) pictured with conference attendees.

Medical education in Iran is moving towards curricular reform and competency-based postgraduate medical education. As part of this reform, FAIMER President, John J. Norcini, Ph.D., received an invitation from the Council for Graduate Medical Education of Iran to run a series of workshops on assessment.

In July 2006, faculty from universities of medical sciences throughout Iran attended a week long conference held in Tehran. Also in attendance were Dr. Mohagheghi, Deputy Minister for Educational and Student Affairs of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education; Dr. Einollahi, Chair of the Council for Graduate Medical Education; and a number of other important educational authorities.

Dr. Norcini conducted five workshops on key issues in assessment for participants who were members of Curriculum Development Committees and Chairs of the medical specialties Boards of Examiners. He also conducted three plenary sessions for faculty from Tehran University of the Medical Sciences and Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education also attended the plenary sessions.

Meetings to discuss possibilities for collaboration were held with Dr. Larijani, President of Tehran University of the Medical Sciences; Dr. Hosseini, Vice-Chancellor for Educational Affairs, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences; and other representatives from both universities.

Dr. Norcini noted that workshop attendees were knowledgeable, committed to high quality assessment, and enthusiastic (see picture) and that, going forward, there is a good basis for collaboration in a wide range of areas.

Travel to the conference was funded by the Joint Program Review Mission of the World Health Organization. Drs. Zali, President of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, and Hosseini, Vice-Chancellor for Educational Affairs, provided the facilities for the conference.