New Distance Learning Diploma Program in Health Professions Education to be Conducted in Arabic

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The International Center for Training in Medical Education and Distance Learning of the Medical Education Department, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University (MED-FOM-SCU), in Ismailia, Egypt, in partnership with the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO-EMRO), will soon offer a Distance Learning Diploma Program in Health Professions Education for speakers of Arabic. MED-FOM-SCU will administer the program, and WHO-EMRO will provide funding for development of a website for the program, including an online, distance learning “blackboard” interface, as well as funding for individual educators to participate. Registration is expected to open on December 1, 2011.

FAIMER faculty member Wagdy Talaat (PHIL 2007), Professor and Head of MED-FOM-SCU and Senior Consultant to WHO-EMRO, is spearheading development of the Arabic program, which is an outgrowth of MED-FOM-SCU’s Diploma of Health Professions Education, a distance learning program conducted in English. The English program was established by Professor Talaat as part of his FAIMER educational innovation project, and it currently attracts more than 100 Egyptian health professions educators each year. Professor Talaat was also instrumental in the development of the Joint Master of Health Professions Education, which is offered by MED-FOM-SCU in collaboration with Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and the Joint Diploma of Health Professions Education by Distance Learning, a program that serves educators from Iraq and which is offered by MED-FOM-SCU in partnership with Lahaye University in the Netherlands.

Professor Talaat mentions that there is still much work to be completed before the new Arabic program can be launched. In particular, course materials from the diploma program in English must be translated into Arabic, a challenging task that WHO-EMRO is managing. In addition, certain components of the program, such as case studies and examples, must be provided with an Arabic context to make them more relevant to participants. Despite these challenges, all parties eagerly anticipate launching on schedule. Professor Talaat in particular looks forward to sharing FAIMER’s mission and educational methods with an entirely new group of health professions educators in the Mediterranean Region. For more information on the program, e-mail medfomscu@yahoo.com.

Suez Canal University Medical Education Department Receives Leadership and Management Award

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Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of the world’s neediest countries by helping managers and leaders improve health services, announced in March the recipients of its annual Leadership and Management Awards for 2010. Receiving the third-place award was the Medical Education Department of the Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University in Ismailia, Egypt, under the directorship of 2007 FAIMER Institute Fellow Wagdy Talaat. The Leadership and Management Awards are given annually to managers and teams of organizations that work to improve the health of their communities, and who demonstrate measurable and compelling results in overcoming challenges related to organizational improvements and services.

As Founding Chair of the Medical Education Department, Dr. Talaat helped to establish the department’s two distance-learning programs: the Diploma of Health Professions Education (DHPE), which was planned by Dr. Talaat during his FAIMER fellowship, and the Joint Master of Health Professions Education (JMHPE), which is administered in collaboration with Maastricht University in the Netherlands. The DHPE began in 2008 and is a national program open to health professionals in Egypt; the JMHPE began in 2005 and is an international program open to health professionals throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region. Alumni of both programs include presidents of universities, deans and vice deans of medical, dental, pharmaceutical, and nursing schools, as well as department chairs, and other educators.

Dr. Talaat says that he is proud of the international recognition that the Medical Education Department has received but knows that there is still much work to be done. He and his team envision qualifying 5% of all health professions educators in Egypt through the DHPE within the first five years of the program. The JMHPE is one of the largest programs of its kind in the world, but there are countries in the region that need additional help. To encourage participation from faculty in under-resourced countries, such as Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Morocco, funding is provided by both Suez Canal University and the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO).

For more information on the 2010 Leadership and Management Awards and awardees, log into the MSH website and visit the Leadership and Management Awards page (http://leadernet.msh.org/page.cfm?c1=534&nav=410).

Suez Canal University Celebrates Its First Graduating Class in Diploma of Health Professions Education Distance Learning Program

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On November 1, 2009, the Faculty of Medicine at Suez Canal University in Egypt celebrated the graduation of 34 health professionals as the first class in its Diploma of Health Professions Education (DHPE) distance learning program. The graduates are mid- to senior-level faculty from 11 different health professions education institutions in Egypt, and senior trainers from Egyptian Ministry of Health training centers. News of the graduation was broadcast on Egyptian national television, satellite channels, talk shows, and the popular show Good Morning Egypt.

Higher education officials in Egypt consider the DHPE program to be a key component in a new era of health professions education reform in the country, and recognize that faculty is the cornerstone of such change. Thirty-two new fellows have registered so far for the program’s second class.

Dr. Wagdy Talaat (PHIL 2007), Director of the DHPE program and Founding Chair of the Medical Education Department at Suez Canal University, planned the Diploma during his FAIMER fellowship in 2007 and launched the program, exclusively for Egyptians, in October 2008. He and his colleagues envision training five percent of all health professions educators in Egypt in five years through this national program.

For more information on the Suez Canal University DHPE program, please visit http://www.dhpescu.org.

Suez Canal University Expands Health Professions Education in Iraq and Libya

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The Medical Education Department (MED) of Suez Canal University (SCU) in Ismailia, Egypt, has recently forged relationships with two other universities that will advance health professions education in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Under the leadership of 2007 FAIMER Institute Fellow Wagdy Talaat, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Head of SCU-MED, agreements were signed with the Iraq branch of Lahaye International University, the Netherlands, and with Libyan International Medical University (LIMU), Benghazi, Libya, to expand those institutions’ medical education offerings.

The Tikrit, Iraq, branch of Lahaye International University, College of Applied Medical Sciences, has agreed to offer a Joint Diploma in Health Professions Education through Distance Learning with the SCU Faculty of Medicine. The diploma is an extension of SCU’s Diploma in Health Professions Education with the important condition that it be offered exclusively to Iraqi health professionals at the Iraq national level. The diploma is the third health professions education degree offered by SCU. The program is expected to launch in October 2009.

SCU has also agreed to collaborate with Libyan International Medical University (LIMU) in Benghazi, Libya, to train faculty in innovative health professions education methods and to develop a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum. The program will be offered to LIMU’s faculties of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Basic Sciences. The PBL curriculum has been outlined and the initial faculty training session was conducted during the first two weeks of July 2009. LIMU is expected to launch the first PBL module in October 2009.