Each year at the FAIMER Institute in Philadelphia, a day is devoted to exploring a key theme in international medical education (IME). This year, IME Day focused specifically on the interaction between academic institutions and governments in “Human Capacity Building in the Health Professions.” On October 22, approximately 80 participants from 15 countries took part in discussion and high-engagement group activities centered on the academic and governmental relationships in four countries: Brazil, India, Pakistan, and South Africa. Each of the countries was represented by health care experts from both government and health professions education. They included:
Henry Campos, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Vice Rector, Universidad Federal do Ceará, and Co-Director of the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute. Dr. Campos represented both the government and health professions education points of view.
Abraham Thomas, M.S., M.A.M.S., M.Ch., Professor, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Microsurgery, and Director, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana
Vedprakash Mishra, M.D., Vice Chancellor, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences University, Nagpur, and Vice Chair, Academic Cell, Medical Council of India
Jamsheer Talati, M.B.B.S., Professor of Surgery and former Associate Dean for Education, The Aga Khan University
Ahmed Nadeem Akbar, Registrar, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council
Beth Engelbrecht, M.D., Deputy Director General, Western Cape Provincial Department of Health
Wynand van der Merwe, M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., M.D., Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University
FAIMER’s Associate Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute, William Burdick, M.D., M.S.Ed., encouraged participants to explore pragmatic strategies for aligning government and health professions education to address health care challenges, especially those involving faculty development and capacity building. Ideas included setting up low-risk meetings between education and government officials to encourage dialogue; pooling resources and exploring opportunities for joint funding of needed programs; using FAIMER Regional Institutes as a meeting ground for stakeholders; integrating the training of different types of health care workers; training health care workers at the local level; and aligning academic research, data gathering, and data presentation with the requirements of government to obtain funding and support for needed programs. An important theme throughout the discussion was that a common vision for health care improvement, shared by government and health professions education, can drive change and bring about needed improvements.
In addition to the representatives from the four focus countries, participants in IME Day included Fellows and faculty of the 2008 and 2009 FAIMER Institutes, staff members from FAIMER and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), and other guests, including ECFMG President Emeritus and FAIMER Senior Scholar James A. Hallock, M.D.; Director of the Division of Graduate Medical Education of the American Medical Association, Paul H. Rockey, M.D., M.P.H.; and FAIMER Directors Philip L. Gildenberg, M.D., Ram R. Krishna, M.D., Donald O. Nutter, M.D., and Sharon Wood-Dauphinee, Ph.D.
Feedback from the day was very positive. Participants were impressed by the range of ideas that could be generated in a single day through focused, cross-cultural exchange. In a closing panel discussion, the representatives from the four countries each expressed gratitude for the opportunity to learn different approaches from the others, which they could take back to their own regions and use to improve the coordination of government and health professions education in efforts to improve health care.
Sixteen international health professions educators who represent academic institutions from 11 countries around the world arrived in Philadelphia on October 3, 2009, to begin their first session as Fellows of the 2009 FAIMER Institute.
The FAIMER Institute fellowship program is designed for international health professions educators who have the potential to play key leadership roles at their schools. The program serves two main purposes: (1) provide participants with the tools and skills to serve as resources for their individual institutions, and (2) create an environment for cross-cultural exchange of educational expertise and experiences. The ultimate goal is to improve the health of local communities through local and regional improvements to health professions education programs.
On October 18, the 2009 Fellows were joined by the 2008 Fellows, returning to Philadelphia to complete their final residential session. These opportunities for interaction between classes of Fellows support the development of a community of international health professions educators dedicated to the improvement of health professions education and the health of communities.
In addition to the new Fellows, the FAIMER Institute also welcomed new faculty member James BonTempo, Learning Technology Advisor for Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University that develops “effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services for women and their families.” Mr. BonTempo’s teaching interests include tools and channels for distance learning. Returning to the Institute as faculty members were James A. Hallock, M.D., President Emeritus of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and former Chair of the FAIMER Board of Directors, and Dale Dauphinee, M.D., former Executive Director of the Medical Council of Canada and professor at McGill University.
Following are the 2009 FAIMER Institute Fellows:
Dr. Anshu, M.D., M.B.B.S., Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, India
Rukhsana Aslam, M.B.B.S., Lahore Medical and Dental College, Lahore, Pakistan
Dinesh Badyal, M.B.B.S., M.D., Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India
Janet Bloomfield, M.D., Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile
Andrea Dávila-Cervantes, M.D., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
Martha Delgado, M.Sc., M.D., Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia
Rosiane Diniz, M.D., Ph.D., Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil
Sixteen international health professions educators who represent academic institutions from 14 countries around the world arrived in Philadelphia on October 5, 2008, to begin their first session as Fellows of the 2008 FAIMER Institute.
The FAIMER Institute fellowship program is designed for international health professions educators who have the potential to play key roles at their schools. The program serves two main purposes, to: (1) provide participants with the tools and skills to serve as resources for their individual institutions and (2) create an environment for cross-cultural exchange of educational expertise and experiences. The ultimate goal is to improve the health of local communities by improving health professions education programs. The program helps Fellows develop curricula appropriate to their own schools and communities.
At the end of October, the incoming Institute 2008 Fellows were joined by returning Institute 2007 Fellows as they completed their final residential session. When the 2008 Fellows complete their final residential session next year, they will meet the incoming Institute 2009 Fellows. These opportunities for interaction between classes of Fellows support the development of a community of international health professions educators dedicated to the improvement of health professions education and the health of their communities.
The 2008 FAIMER Institute Fellows are:
María Bernadá, M.D., Universidad de la República, Uruguay
Elaine Bezerra, M.D., Ph.D., Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Ricardo Borda, M.D., Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia
Suleyman Ayhan Caliskan, Ph.D., M.D., Ege Universitesi, Turkey
An Dao, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.D., Hanoi Medical University, Viet Nam
Sari Dewi, M.D., M.H.P.E., Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
Coralie Therese Dimacali, M.D., University of the Philippines Manila, Philippines
Irene Durante, M.D., M.B.A., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Jorge Garcia, M.Sh., Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Argentina
Harpreet Kapoor, M.S., M.B.B.S., Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India
Michan Malca, M.D., Universidad Científica del Sur, Peru
Dianne Manning, Ph.D., M.Ed., University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Henal Shah, M.B.B.S., D.P.M., M.D., Topiwala National Medical College, India
John Tumbo, M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., M.C.F.P., University of Limpopo, South Africa
In mid-August, FAIMER welcomed to Philadelphia the Directors and key faculty members from all five of FAIMER’s Regional Institutes in Brazil, India, and Southern Africa. Twenty-three representatives from the Regional Institutes joined eight FAIMER staff and consultants to convene the first ever “DAFFRI” workshop: an intensive five-day program designed to create opportunities for all participants to develop mutual understanding of the common values and needs of FAIMER Regional Institutes, contribute to crafting a shared vision and strategy for future development and sustainability, enhance their knowledge and skills as educators, and build an active, supportive global network of FAIMER Regional Institute stakeholders.
The program, entitled “Strengthening and Sustaining Regional Institutes: Vibrant Communities for Education and Health,” combined an “Appreciative Inquiry” planning process facilitated by FAIMER Institute Co-Director Page Morahan with knowledge building sessions on adult learning theory led by Bill Burdick, FAIMER Institute Co-Director and Associate Vice President for Education. Both were accompanied in presenting by Stewart Mennin, a health professions education consultant who has also served as an international faculty member at FAIMER Regional Institutes in India and Brazil.
A high-point of the program was a lively “Interactive Presence” workshop in which stage actor and arts educator Mary Beth Scallen guided participants in a series of exercises that raised their awareness of their own behaviors in the classroom and encouraged them to consciously use their own behaviors as teaching tools. This was followed by opportunities for all to practice interactive teaching techniques in presentation and feedback sessions.
Participants are now following up on action plans generated by “concept teams” in the workshop. The action plans address priority areas such as program development, faculty development, sustainability, standard operating procedures, and evaluation.
(posted September 24, 2007, updated September 28, 2007)