|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 108-110
Co-editors' notes 27:2
Donald Pathman1, Michael Glasser2
1 Co-Editors, Education for Health; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
2 Co-Editors, Education for Health, North Carolina; University of Illinois, Rockford, Illinois, USA
|Date of Web Publication||31-Oct-2014|
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Pathman D, Glasser M. Co-editors' notes 27:2. Educ Health 2014;27:108-10
This issue of Education for Health (EfH) presents research reports that were received as regular submissions to the journal. It also contains papers submitted to a special solicitation to the hundreds of international scholars who attended and presented work at the Rendez-Vous 2012 Health Professional Education Conference held in Thunder Bayss, Ontario, Canada in October, 2012. This conference was collaboratively sponsored by five organizations devoted to fostering health professions education and equity in health. An editorial by Roger Strasser and Sue Berry of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine-the conference's local host institution-reviews for readers the conference's goals and achievements. Their editorial also introduces the papers published herein as part of a special call for papers from the conference for publication in EfH. We are pleased to present these conference highlights within EfH. Below, we introduce this issue's regular submissions.
Sarah Kiguli et al. describe an important collaboration between five Ugandan medical schools and Johns Hopkins University in the US, in "A Consortium Approach to Competency-Based Undergraduate Medical Education in Uganda: Process, Opportunities and Challenges." The authors use documentary evidence to describe retrospectively how this group identified Uganda's health priorities and thus the competencies required of practitioners. They describe the partners and approaches of the Medical Education Partnership for Equitable Services to all Ugandans to meet these competencies. The group's activities and successes are helping these medical schools transition toward competency-based curriculum, showing the power of working within a collaborative to harness energy and resources to promote curriculum reform within individual schools.
Sometimes educators' curricular innovations to improve learners' clinical skills have broader effects on students understanding of medicine and their career directions; a glorious outcome. Kibore et al., in "Kenyan Medical Student and Consultant Experiences in a Pilot Decentralized Training Program at the University of Nairobi," describe a program that introduced community-based clinical training sites for students to address a problem of too many students for the number of patients available at the university hospital. The students and their community preceptors not only found clinical training to be good in the community settings, but students became actively engaged in patients' care and became attached to their communities where some hoped to return later for further training and to practice. Interacting with students also stimulated preceptors professionally and helped some improve their care. This curricular intervention is one of the projects of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (http://www.fic.nih.gov/programs/Pages/medical-education-africa.aspx).
In "Impact of a Rural Interprofessional Health Professions summer preceptorship educational experience on participants' attitudes and knowledge," MacDowell et al. at the University of Illinois-Rockford in the US describe a six week summer rural preceptorship that included shadowing clinicians of various disciplines, a team service-learning project and classroom work. The preceptorship was for students in medicine, physician assistant programs, pharmacy, nursing, public health and other disciplines. In a pre-post assessment, students' indicated they better understood the roles of other disciplines and felt better able to work with these others. Students also generally felt that all health professions students should experience this type of interdisciplinary exposure.
In "Physician as Teacher: Promoting Health and Wellness among Elementary School Students," Stefaniak and Lucia in the US analyze medical students' written reflections to understand what they learned about teaching through a service-learning activity wherein they prepared and delivered a health lesson to young students. Through this hands-on experience, medical students learned some fundamentals of effective teaching, including the importance of preparation, understanding the learner and adapting information to the learners' level of understanding and frame of reference.
Labaf et al. present perceptions of a newly introduced objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) of the medical students of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, in "Students' Concerns about the pre-internship OSCE in Medical Education." They report that students found value in this form of assessment - students felt they learned from it and received good faculty feedback - but many found it stressful, had concerns about its fairness, and preferred traditional multiple-choice questions that test knowledge only. It can take time for students to change from old ways.
Two papers in this issue address issues of professionalism for learners. A study by Spiwak et al., "Medical Students and Postgraduate Residents Observations of Professionalism," presents observations of professional and unprofessional behaviors by medical students and residents in a Canadian medical school. Using the "Climate of Professionalism" scale, the authors find that medical students observe the most (highest) professional behaviors among other medical students, and residents find most professional behaviors among other residents; both groups gave faculty the lowest scores on professionalism and highest (worst) scores for unprofessional behavior. This makes one wonder who the teachers should be when it comes to professionalism.
A brief communication by O'Flynn et al., "Attitudes towards Professionalism in Graduate and Non-graduate Entrants to Medical School," addresses an interesting question about the importance given to various aspects of professionalism by medical students of the University College Cork who had either entered medical school directly from secondary school or who had previously completed a college degree. Of the two groups, those with college backgrounds-and thus generally older - placed greater importance on several personal characteristics of physicians (e.g., appearance, punctuality) and professional aspects of interactions with patients (e.g., confidentiality). This study provides evidence of another advantage to matriculating more mature medical students who will have benefited from greater experiences and perhaps carry greater motivation to their roles as physicians.
The Patient-centered Medical Home (PCMH), a concept around which US primary care health services are now being reorganized, has become a new, important aspect of student education. In "Course on Care of Patients with Chronic Illness-PCMH Model," Danford et al. describe a voluntary curriculum for medical and medical assistant students at Duke University, which covers PCMH principles and approaches like setting health and behavior goals for patients, team-based care, coordinated care, and payment reform. The curriculum includes didactic and student-led sessions, followed by student projects to help the clinical sites to which they are assigned address a practical problem with PCMH approaches. Students judged that through this 16-week curriculum they were more confident in the principles of PCMH and identified ways to strengthen this novel curriculum, which may become standard fare for US health professions students.
A Brief Communication from Gaughf et al., "Student-reported Satisfaction with Academic Enhancement Services at an Academic Health Science Center," provides information on how students of the University of Mississippi in the US from a variety of health disciplines perceived the support they received when they sought academic or personal help through the school. Students were supported in issues transitioning to the rigors of health professions education, their study skills, self-management, and coping and emotional needs. Students' assessed the assistance they received as quite helpful, which is impressive given the brevity of their interactions with a counselor. This study shows the value that students can find in this type of assistance from their health professions schools.
At a time when the central importance of patient safety is recognized within healthcare and is moving into medical education, Hayes et al. at the University of Warwick in England share "Improving Awareness of Patient Safety in a Peer-led Pilot Educational Programme for Undergraduate Medical Students." The authors describe a voluntary, 2-h student-led program that students found useful and engaging, and through which students' understanding and self-efficacy in patient safety issues increased.
A practical advice paper, "The Fruits of Authorship," by Juyal et al. review the internationally accepted rules for authorship and describe the various ways that non-deserving individuals are frequently listed as authors. This paper helps explain who should and should not be included as an author. However, confronting the peer pressure and unequal power relationships that can drive author-inflation remain the uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous responsibility of the other, deserving authors. Authors' institutions can create environments to better support legitimate authors and thereby promote scientific integrity in authorship.
This issue also presents three instructive Letters to the Editor. Fatima and Ul Haque at the Aga Khan University speak to the challenges facing the integration of the curriculum within medical schools in Pakistan and offer directions forward. They speak of traditional, siloed departments not integrating their teaching into a wider, student and society-oriented curriculum, and they point out a shortage of educationalists to help schools transition to a unified and balanced curriculum. Dr. Marinucci in the US addresses the increasing needs for and challenges of educating an adequate workforce of laboratory technicians in sub-Saharan Africa. He proposes four corrective strategies: Linking continuing education to national licensing, combining face-to-face and media learning activities, adapting instructional strategies to local needs and circumstances, and requiring a sound assessment strategy for the quality of laboratory operations. Lastly, Gonullu and Artar of the Ankara University in Turkey provide a thoughtful overview of the importance of metacognition in medical students' learning-teaching students to be aware of their thoughts, feelings and values as both learners and budding clinicians. They provide sound recommendations for how medical schools and individual faculty can overtly incorporate metacognition into the curriculum and in one-on-one student interactions.
May you find this interesting and learn from the insights, experiences, breadth of topics and wisdom within this issue's papers by educator-authors from around the globe.