FAIMER Featured in London International Development Center’s New Report on What Works in Distance Learning for Health Professionals

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A new report from the London International Development Center (LIDC), “Distance Learning for Health: What Works,” presents findings from a global review of distance learning programs for medical professionals in low- and middle-income countries. The report, authored by Chris Joynes, was launched at the LIDC-3ie seminar “What works in international development? Internet-based medical education: findings and lessons from a realist review.” Both the FAIMER fellowship programs and The Open University-FAIMER-WFME Distance Learning Modules in Medical Education are cited in the report as examples of effective educational models that incorporate distance learning. The FAIMER fellowship programs in particular are noted as having led to concrete changes in curricula and institutional policies at the home institutions of the FAIMER Fellows and beyond. More information on the report, as well as links to summaries and the report in its entirety can be found on the LIDC website.

New Series Announced in The Open University-FAIMER-WFME Distance Learning Modules in Medical Education

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The Open University-FAIMER-WFME Distance Learning Modules in Medical Education is pleased to offer a new series on the theme of “Educational Management and Leadership.” The first four modules in the series are open for registration:

Module Start Date
Leadership in Health Professions Education January 10, 2011
Understanding and Managing Self April 11, 2011
Understanding and Managing Others, Performance and Conflict July 11, 2011
Positive, Appreciative, Strengths-Based Leadership October 10, 2011
Leading and Managing Projects TBA
Managing Meetings and Group Decision-Making TBA
Team Building TBA
Managing and Leading Change TBA

Registration is also still open for modules in the first series on “Self-review and Accreditation:”

Module Start Date
Self-Review in Low-Resource Circumstances October 4, 2010
Implementing Improvements after Review January 10, 2011
Planning an External Review April 11, 2011
Purposes and Methods of Accreditation July 11, 2011
Non-Regulatory Approaches to Quality Assurance of Medical Education October 10, 2011

The cost of each module is US $85.00 and space is limited.

Modules in both series were developed by FAIMER in collaboration with The Open University Centre for Education in Medicine (OUCEM) in the United Kingdom and the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). Feedback from participants on completed modules has been extremely positive:

“Distance learning has been a great experience for me. I am really enjoying and learning new things daily. I will recommend it to all colleagues here…”

“I … eagerly wait to read the tutor’s comments. The past 10 weeks have been lovely.”

“I really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. They would be definitely useful for the development of our institution…”

Each module takes approximately one hour per week for 10 weeks. Modules can be downloaded or used on-line. Participants are provided with materials and supporting documentation, as well as access to an on-line discussion forum. A learning advisor is assigned to each participant to stimulate and discuss progress. Participants are expected to complete two one-hour assignments (within the 10-hour allocation) for which they will receive marked feedback. At the end of each completed module, participants will receive a certificate which can be used as evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Visit The Open University-FAIMER-WFME Distance Learning Modules in Medical Education page to register or to learn more. If you have any questions, please e-mail inquiry@faimer.org.

FAIMER International Faculty Member at The Open University Awarded Funding to Train Doctors in Ethiopia

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The Open University (OU) in the United Kingdom has been awarded funding to work with the Distance Learning Medical Centre (DLMC) program in Ethiopia. The program, led by FAIMER international faculty member Professor Janet Grant (Director of the Centre for Education in Medicine at OU) and Professor Mike Stewart (OU Faculty of Science), will train doctors specifically for practice in areas of the country that currently have limited medical provision.

Ethiopia has a severe shortage of doctors. Currently around 95% of medical students emigrate after qualifying, leaving fewer than 700 doctors in the public sector to serve the country’s population of 80 million. The DLMC will assist the Ethiopian government to achieve its target of producing 11,000 additional doctors. Funding has been generously provided by The Open University alumni and by Ethiopiaid, a charitable organization dedicated to improving conditions in Ethiopia by fighting poverty and poor health, and by improving education. The funding will enable the development of a distance learning component to support the existing integrated curriculum at St. Paul’s Millennium Medical School in Addis Ababa, which opened in 2008.

The DLMC program includes basic science and clinical training, as well as community experience. It will produce doctors with the competence to practice without supervision in a rural setting. Students studying the program have been selected not only for their academic ability but also for their motivation to remain in Ethiopia once they qualify.

Open education and distance learning have enormous potential to allow Ethiopia to expand its medical training rapidly despite a shortage of trainers. It also offers a cost-effective and efficient way of delivering a high-quality medical curriculum that meets World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Global Standards for medical schools. This model of learning can also be used to support skills development and further the training of medical staff already working in the field in remote and rural areas.

The DLMC program is designed to develop distance learning systems and materials that can also be applied to other schools in similar situations. Dr. Grant hopes that FAIMER Fellows from other parts of Africa will be involved in the project.

The Open University-FAIMER-WFME Distance Learning Modules in Medical Education Available in Early 2010—Reserve Now

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FAIMER, in collaboration with the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) and The Open University Centre for Education in Medicine (OUCEM) in the United Kingdom, has produced a series of distance learning modules in medical education. The first four will become available in 2010:

  • Module 1: Standards for Medical Education (begins February 1, 2010)
  • Module 2: Organizing a Self-Review (begins April 19, 2010)
  • Module 3: Gathering, Analyzing and Presenting Evidence for Self-Review (begins July 5, 2010)
  • Module 4: Self-Review in Low-Resource Circumstances (begins October 4, 2010)

Each course takes approximately one hour per week for 10 weeks. The modules can be downloaded or used on-line. Participants will be provided with course materials and supporting documentation, as well as access to an on-line discussion forum. A learning advisor will be assigned to each participant to stimulate and discuss progress. Participants will be expected to complete two one-hour assignments (within the 10-hour allocation) for which they will receive marked feedback.

At the end of each module, participants will receive a certificate that can be used as evidence of continuing professional development (CPD). In time students will be eligible to use this certificate as credit for a practice-based CPD certificate course at The Open University.

The cost of each module is US$ 85. You can purchase the modules by visiting the distance learning page of this website. If you would like further information, please e-mail OUCEM at oucem@open.ac.uk, or call +44 (0)1908 653776. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the start date of each of the modules.

(posted December 9, 2009; updated January 14, 2010)