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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 243

Co-Editors' Notes

Co-Editors, Education for Health

Date of Submission31-Jul-2008
Date of Web Publication20-Aug-2008

Correspondence Address:
D Pathman
Co-Editors, Education for Health

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19039750

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How to cite this article:
Pathman D, Glasser M. Co-Editors' Notes. Educ Health 2008;21:243

How to cite this URL:
Pathman D, Glasser M. Co-Editors' Notes. Educ Health [serial online] 2008 [cited 2022 Aug 15];21:243. Available from:

The topics of the articles in this 20th Year Anniversary celebratory issue of Education for Health (EfH) cover the breadth of the journal’s foci on innovation and effectiveness in health professions education, community-academic linkages, and community-based health care delivery that empowers communities. True to the journal’s international mission, articles are submitted by authors from four continents and include three cross-continent collaborations.

Three papers in this issue constitute Education for Health’s first contributions to a 20-journal collaboration to publish papers from summer 2008 and into 2009 on the theme of “Towards a scaling-up of training and education for health workers”. This important collaboration aims to build understanding and draw attention to the worsening health workforce shortage that now challenges developing countries. The collaboration is led by the Department of Human Resources for Health of the World Health Organization. As part of this theme issue, Palsdottir and colleagues in “Building the Evidence-Base” describe their initial efforts to understand and jointly assess best models and approaches for medical schools created to correct physician shortages in rural, isolated and poor communities. The paper “Sitting in Different Chairs” by Stephanie Farquhar et al. provides insights into how community health workers regard and value their work and roles. In the third paper, Al-Enezi and colleagues assess the work situations of graduates of the Medical Laboratory Sciences Department of Kuwait University. They identify significant job dissatisfaction among hospital laboratory workers, note the implications for laboratory workers’ job retention and workforce stability, and make suggestions for workplace and educational reforms.

Within the journal’s focus area in community-based education, Heestand Skinner and colleagues survey medical students across Nigeria to identify ten schools with community-based education programs and identify the cardinal features of schools’ community curricula. They find students feel that most, but not all, of the literature-suggested objectives of community-based education were achieved through schools’ various curricular approaches. In another paper Dr. Camilo Osorio Barker is interviewed as part of the journal’s “Making a Difference” series of conversations with influential personalities. Dr. Osorio Barker is Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad de La Sabana in Chia, Columbia, just north of Bogotá, the site of the upcoming September meeting of The Network: Towards Unity for Health. Dr. Osorio Barker speaks of the training that his school’s students receive in community settings so that they learn about the community context of disease and care.

Two papers in this issue reflect the importance of the community’s views of the health care they receive. Lin et al. assess how patients and physicians perceive the empathy conveyed by physicians in emergency settings in Taiwan. Their subjects identify a number of shortcomings in how physicians experience empathy and communicate it to patients. Abdulghani and colleagues assess how well patients accept medical student involvement in their care within what the authors call the “reserved and conservative culture” of Saudi Arabia. They find that most patients are willing to have students participate in some aspects of their care, but that acceptance varies with patients’ and students’ gender, the roles students perform with patients, and other factors.

Four papers evaluate educational programs. In “Communication Skills Training”, Harlak et al. document a decrease in some students’ empathic tendencies following communication skills training in the Adnan Menderes University in Turkey. They also find that women generally scored higher than men on communication skills attitudes and empathy both before and after training. In Turkey’s Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Ocek and colleagues evaluate an integrated, “spiral” epidemiology curriculum in which students revisit topics and principles in epidemiology as they become relevant to the evolving content of the curriculum in each year of their training. Students’ assessments of the curriculum were generally positive but, as other studies have found, not all students see the relevance of epidemiology training to their futures as physicians. Singaram et al. assess the reactions to a problem-based curriculum of a socially and culturally diverse student population in their South African school, where students’ varying backgrounds might make some of them reluctant or unable to participate effectively in small group education settings. Lastly, in an “In the News” feature, van Dalen, an associate editor of Education for Health, reviews recent studies evaluating faculty development programs and encourages more such studies.

In a final paper, Mash et al. illustrate how to promote multi-disciplinary teamwork to improve operations in health care organizations. They present a case study of their initiative within a community health center and its satellite clinics in South Africa.

Within the variety of papers in this issue, we trust you will find at least several of interest.

Donald Pathman, M.D., M.P.H.

Michael Glasser, Ph.D.

Co-Editors, Education for Health


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