Inaugural Issue of African Journal of Health Professions Education Published

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The inaugural issue of the African Journal of Health Professions Education (AJHPE) opens with an editorial that asks and answers a question; “Does Africa need another journal?” Co-Director of the Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute Vanessa Burch (PHIL 2001), M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., Ph.D., authored the piece as the journal’s Editor. Dr. Burch explains that AJHPE is the only journal focusing specifically on health professions education and related topics on the continent of Africa. That health professions education is vital to solving the health care problems in Africa makes this journal more important than ever.

The bi-annual, peer-reviewed publication carries research articles, letters, editorials, practical education pieces, and opinion pieces for health professionals. The journal’s editorial board is committed to supporting the global exchange of knowledge and provides free, public access to the full journal content online.

The first issue features contributions from three more FAIMER Fellows: an article co-authored by Enoch Kwizera (PHIL 2007), another co-authored by Chinmay Shah (GSMC 2008), and a letter from Ben Van Heerden (PHIL 2006).

To access the African Journal of Health Professions Education, please visit www.ajhpe.org.za.

African Journal of Health Professions Education

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A new online peer-reviewed publication dedicated specifically to health professions education on the continent of Africa is currently in development. Under the editorial leadership of 2001 FAIMER Institute Fellow Vanessa Burch, M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., Ph.D., Co-Director of the Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute, the African Journal of Health Professions Education will publish research articles, letters, editorials, practical education pieces, and opinion pieces focusing on health professions education in Africa.

The editorial board of the journal will be comprised of African and international health professions educators. Initial plans are to publish semiannually for the first two years with the hope of increasing the publication frequency as the journal becomes more established and submissions increase. The inaugural issue is expected to be available sometime in the second half of 2009. Publication costs for the journal are being funded by the publishers of the South African Medical Journal, an internationally accredited publication.

For more information on the African Journal of Health Professions Education, please visit www.ajhpe.org.za. To submit work for publication, please register on the website and check the “author” box before completing your submission.

FAIMER Institute Fellows Participate in the 6th Biennial Conference of the Asia-Pacific Association on Problem-Based Learning in Health Sciences

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Four FAIMER Institute Fellows played prominent roles at the 6th Biennial Conference of the Asia-Pacific Association on Problem-Based Learning in Health Sciences (APA-PHS), which took place October 15-16, 2008, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Debra Sim (PHIL 2007), Professor at the University of Malaya, served on the conference organizing committee as Co-Chair, and Christina Tan (PHIL 2005), Director of the Medical Education & Research Development Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, served as Secretary. Both were also members of the APA-PHS Executive Committee, along with Nor Azila Mohd Adnan (PHIL 2002), Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Malaya. Vanessa Burch (PHIL 2001), Associate Professor, Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Co-Director of the Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute, contributed as a plenary speaker on the subject of assessment.

The theme of the APA-PHS conference was Problem Based Learning (PBL): Challenges and Opportunities. Approximately 170 health professionals attended the event and 80 registered for pre-conference workshops. Participants represented more than 15 countries, with most coming from India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The conference was noteworthy for increasing the involvement of health professionals from disciplines outside of medical education, including dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing.

One important outcome from the conference was the creation of a list-serve on PBL with further plans to develop it into an electronic forum similar to FAIMER’s Mentoring and Learning Web (ML-Web) discussion forum. The hope is that this forum will facilitate participants’ sharing of PBL expertise and resources and spread the PBL philosophy to a wider audience in the Asia-Pacific region.

Vanessa Burch, M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., Ph.D., Named Chair of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cape Town

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FAIMER Institute faculty member Vanessa Burch, M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., Ph.D., has been named Professor and Chair of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cape Town.

A 2001 FAIMER Institute Fellow, Dr. Burch has been a member of the FAIMER Institute faculty since 2005. Prior to joining the faculty, she spent two years as a Global Faculty Advisor. She also serves as Co-Director of the Southern Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute, which began in February of this year.