11th Thai Medical Education Conference

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The 11th Thai Medical Education Conference, “Globalization and Medical Education,” was hosted by the Faculty of Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, in Bangkok, Thailand, March 27-29, 2010. The conference provided an opportunity for participants to discuss medical education strategies and processes with a view toward improving healthcare services in South East Asia. The focus of discourse was on meeting the changing demands of today’s globalized society.

The conference was supported by the Consortium of Thai Medical Schools, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), and by Chulalongkorn University. Attendees included WFME President Stefan Lindgren; members of the WFME Executive Council, including Chair of the FAIMER Board of Directors and Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) President Emmanuel G. Cassimatis; President of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Madalena Folque Patrício; President of the Association of Medical Schools in Europe (AMSE) David Gordon; President of Chulalongkorn University Pirom Kamolratanakul; executive committee members of the South East Asia Regional Association of the World Federation for Medical Education (SEARAME), including PSG-FAIMER Regional Institute Director Thomas Chacko (PHIL 2004) and FAIMER faculty member Rita Sood (PHIL 2005); members of WHO; and delegates from Thailand. Executive-level meetings of both WFME and SEARAME were held in conjunction with the conference.

Among the numerous presentations given at the conference were the following key lectures:

Impact of Free Trade Agreement on Health Professional Education
Pirom Kamolratanakul, President, Chulalongkorn University

Roles of Medical Doctors towards the Next Decades
Stefan Lindgren, President, WFME

The Avicenna Directories for Medicine—Understanding the World’s Medical Schools
David Gordon, President, Association of Medical Schools in Europe (AMSE)

The Bologna Process and Sharing Medical Education Resources
Madalena Patrício, President, Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)

Public Health Role of Doctors in a Globalized World: A WHO Perspective
Myint Htwe, Director, Program Managment, WHO South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO)

The Global Environment of Health Professions Education—WHO Perspective (Building and Sustaining the Health Workforce: The Grand Challenges)
Dr. Maureen Birmingham, WHO Representative to Thailand

Bulletin of the World Health Organization Special Issue on Health Workforce Retention in Remote and Rural Areas: Call for Papers

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is inviting authors to submit papers to a special theme issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization on health workforce retention in rural and remote areas. While much is known about factors that influence health worker migration, less is known about workable solutions for retention, and this special issue of the WHO Bulletin seeks to explore this topic. Papers should expand the current knowledge of the challenges involved in the retention of health workers in rural and remote areas, including the costs of implementing retention strategies and incentive schemes, and how context influences the planning, implementation, and effects of various strategies. Papers discussing sustainability are also encouraged, in particular, innovative methodological papers dealing with the monitoring and evaluation of retention strategies.

Publication is planned for the spring of 2010; the deadline for submission is October 1, 2009.

Please visit http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/7/09-068494/en/index.html to see the WHO Bulletin editorial call for papers.

To submit a paper, please visit http://submit.bwho.org.

Call for Research Proposals: Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research and the Human Resources for Health Department, World Health Organization

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A call for research proposals focused on incentives to attract and retain qualified health workers to underserved areas within low and middle income countries has been issued by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research and the Human Resources for Health Department of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) is an international collaboration, based at WHO headquarters in Geneva, which aims to promote the generation and use of health policy and systems research as a means to improve the health systems of developing countries. The Human Resources for Health Department at WHO helps build and strengthen stewardship capacity to develop and implement health workforce policies, strengthens institutional capacity to develop and ensure quality and adequate quantity of health workforce production, and manages knowledge regarding health workforce development.

The Alliance for HPSR and WHO are eager to support pragmatic and policy-oriented research that addresses gaps in the existing evidence base. This call for proposals is open both to studies that aim to understand better the factors behind health workers’ choice of practice location as well as studies that aim to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of interventions to encourage health workers to work in underserved areas. Evaluations that assess the impact of interventions addressing health worker location could examine outcomes in terms of health worker density, but also quality and service coverage.

The deadline for submission of proposals is September 12, 2008. For more information, visit the website of the Alliance for HPSR.

University of Copenhagen and FAIMER Sign Data Sharing Agreement

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At the direction of the World Health Organization (WHO) and in partnership with the World Federation for Medical Education, FAIMER, and other international organizations, the University of Copenhagen is building an electronic directory that will be a successor to WHO’s World Directory of Medical Schools. This new resource has been named the Avicenna Directories, after the 11th century physician-philosopher ibn Sina. The goal of the Avicenna Directories is to provide “an up-to-date, accessible, electronic world list of education institutions for health professions” including details about their educational programs, resources, quality assurance, and contact information. FAIMER is a member of the International Advisory Committee for the Avicenna Directories. To support this endeavor, FAIMER and the University of Copenhagen have agreed to share health professions education data between their respective directories. As a result, this agreement enriches both the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) and the Avicenna Directories.

FAIMER Represented at World Health Organization’s SEDCAP Planning Meeting

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John Boulet, Ph.D., FAIMER Director of Research and Data Resources, participated in the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored meeting on strengthening educational capacity in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in five African countries (SEDCAP), May 29-31, 2006, in Gaborone, Botswana. In addition to Dr. Boulet, Professor Sam Luboga (WHO Uganda) and Dr. Dan Kayongo (University of Transkei, South Africa), both former FAIMER Institute Fellows, were in attendance.

The goal of SEDCAP is to strengthen the human and institutional resources of schools of health professionals in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda. By doing this, their graduates will be better equipped to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.

Hosted by the Department of Nursing Education of the University of Botswana, WHO Collaborating Centre, the event attracted more than 60 attendees, including deans and members of the faculty development committees in the project countries, WHO staff, partners, and donor organizations. Presentations were made to familiarize all participants with the educational capacity and performance needs of the local African institutions, and small group discussions were held aimed at delimiting the relevant local educational challenges and developing specific needs assessment measurement tools. On the final day, country teams were formed and asked to devise country-specific action plans. These detailed plans will be used to initiate the second phase of the SEDCAP project.