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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 533

Co-Editors' Notes 23:3

Co-Editors, Education for Health

Date of Web Publication28-Dec-2012

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

How to cite this article:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 23:3. Educ Health 2010;23:533

How to cite this URL:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 23:3. Educ Health [serial online] 2010 [cited 2022 Jan 19];23:533. Available from:

In this issue of Education for Health, we provide papers on topics in educational settings ranging from the classroom to the community. There are many exciting projects being conducted on the international front. Here authors offer an informative sampling.

We start with an opinion piece by Dharamsi, Whiteman and Robert Woollard, the last an associate editor of EfH. In "The Use of Cynical Humor by Medical Staff: Implications for Professionalism and the Development of Humanistic Qualities in Medicine," the authors reflect on the use of cynical humor in medicine and the related implications for medical professionalism, empathy and the development of humanistic qualities in medicine and its students. The authors state that "The truth is that tragedy and comedy exist in the stance we take in greeting the world. To laugh with and not at others is the true joy of comedy. To cry against the suffering of others and the injustice behind that suffering and not with them in their agony and frustration is the appropriate response to tragedy." They conclude that we as educators must include the notions of appropriate senses of humor and tragedy within the objectives for our medical education programs and in our expectations of doctors.

In the paper "Interns' Perceptions on Medical Ethics Education and Ethical Issues at the Dokuz Eylul University School of Medicine in Turkey," Ozan and colleagues present medical students' responses to their faculty's queries about the perceived adequacy of ethics education, the interpersonal ethical problems they had encountered as students, and their current and future anticipated approaches to dealing with ethical problems. There were significant differences between the approaches students currently used in dealing with ethical issues and the more appropriate approaches they anticipated they will use with similar problems in their future professional lives. One is left wondering if students will, in fact, respond differently in the future, when they have more power but also face other, new countervailing forces that may continue to limit their responses to the ethical issues they encounter.

In a contribution from the United States, "Factors Associated with Attrition and Success in Worksite Wellness," Merrill et al. identify factors associated with program attrition and improvements in body mass index (BMI) with a telephonic health coaching program. Findings are presented from over 6,000 employees enrolled in a telephonic health coaching initiative from 2002 through 2008. The researchers found that attrition in the program was greatest among participants least in need of behavior change. On the other hand, health coaching via telephone seemed to work for those most in need. Further, of those who persisted with the program, the greatest decrease in BMI occurred in those people in greatest need for behavior change.

Adkoli et al., in "Innovative Method of Needs Assessment for Faculty Development Programs in a Gulf Medical School," describe a study that identified and prioritized a faculty's skills development needs to help in the school's planning for future education activities for the faculty. The faculty were asked to rate the importance of and also their current performance in areas like development of learning resources, curriculum planning and course evaluation. The authors/researchers then prioritized faculty needs as those areas perceived by the faculty as being of greatest importance and lowest rated current performance. The authors point to the need for adopting a multi-phased approach in delivering faculty development tailored to faculty at each career stage.

In "Evaluation of the Content Validity, Internal Consistency and Stability of an Instrument Designed to Assess the HIV/AIDS Knowledge of University Students," Balogun et al. present the results of a knowledge survey administered to university students in the United States, South Africa and Turkey. Findings revealed the survey instrument to be highly stable and internally consistent. The authors state that the availability of this knowledge assessment instrument may enhance HIV intervention studies internationally.

From Portugal, Reynolds et al., in "Simulation for Teaching Normal Delivery and Shoulder Dystocia to Midwives in Training", compare the effect on midwife students' knowledge of a simulation session using a medical mannequin versus an image-based lecture, for teaching routine management of normal delivery and resolution of shoulder dystocia. They found that the simulation session yielded significantly higher short-term reinforcement of knowledge and greater learner satisfaction.

In "Listening Styles of Undergraduate Health Students," Brown and colleagues identify the listening styles of undergraduate health science students enrolled in an Australian university. The authors administered the Listening Styles Profile (LSP-16) to a cohort of students enrolled in undergraduate programs in eight health disciplines, from nursing to occupational therapy and emergency health (paramedics). Overall, while there was some slight variation by gender, students showed a strong preference for the 'People Listening Style' with a moderate preference for 'Content Listening Style'.

Another paper is from Dongre and his colleagues in India: "On-line Capacity-Building Program on 'Analysis of Data' for Medical Educators in the South Asia Region: A Qualitative Exploration of our Experience." The authors identify the needs of fellows in a faculty development program in the area of data analysis and then implemented and evaluated an on-line 'Mentoring and Learning (M-L)' Web discussion on this topic. They found that steps like identifying the learning needs for an on-line M-L Web discussion, addressing the immediate needs of learners and creating a flexible reflective learning environment on the M-L Web facilitated the collective learning of participating fellows on the topic of data analysis.

In "Training Workshops in Problem-based Learning: Changing Faculty Attitudes and Perceptions in a Pakistani Medical College," Zaidi et al. describe the faculty development process they implemented in introducing PBL into their medical curriculum. The faculty development program consisted of two-day, hands-on facilitator training workshops conducted five times over one year led by in-house faculty, and involved a total of 180 faculty members. Through the workshops, the authors report a significant increase in faculty regard for PBL as an instructional paradigm and that faculty became generally more interested in empowering students with self-directed learning using PBL as a teaching tool.

Lie et al., in "Longitudinal Development of Medical Students' Communication Skills in Interpreted Encounters," describe skill development of medical students for patient encounters involving interpreters. Students completed a didactic curriculum on working with interpreters consisting of readings and an online multimedia web module. Students' skills were assessed before this brief curriculum and then one year later after their clinical rotations in which students intermittently experienced interpreted encounters with actual patients but no additional explicit curriculum on working with interpreters. The researchers found that students' general communication skills remained excellent but some skills for working with interpreters worsened. After clinical rotations, students also showed a pattern of overrating their skills compared with external assessments from trained observers. The authors conclude that the education of students to work with interpreters should include focus on specific student behaviors that are most likely to decay without reinforcement and practice.

The paper "The Thai-Australian Health Alliance: Developing Health Management Capacity and Sustainability for Primary Health Care Services" by Briggs et al. describes a joint initiative to address the development of health care management capability in primary health care professionals in rural Thailand. For this project, participants - including primary health care practitioners, health policy makers and academics - embraced the need to acquire management skills to sustain primary care units. Participants believed that the approaches taken were crucial to developing the management skills needed of health care professionals for rural and remote primary health care. The authors conclude that while problems with the primary health care delivery system in rural Thailand continue, the Alliance has successfully implemented a cross cultural strategic collaboration through activities to augment practice management capacities in primary care practices.

In "A Systematic Review of Collaborative Models for Health and Education Professionals Working in School Settings and Implications for Training," Hillier et al. provide results of a review of the literature on models of best practice to promote collaboration between educators and health professionals to best meet the overall needs of children, including those with disabilities. They also address the issue of implications for training strategies at an undergraduate and postgraduate level to affect these models. The authors conclude that there is a need for educators and health professionals to receive training in inter-professional teamwork and collaboration beyond their traditional, independent domains, and that such training needs to occur at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels for future teachers and health professionals.

In a Brief Communication, Schaub-de Jong and van der Schans identify the benefit that speech and language therapy students perceive in an educational approach that combines pictures and drawings as a stimulus for reflecting on professional experiences. In their paper "Teaching Reflection: Speech & Language Therapy Students Using Visual Clues for Reflection," the authors provide evidence that visualizing as a first step towards verbalizing experiences can foster learning through reflection. Of particular importance to the international community, the authors state that visualization may be particularly important in helping students who are training in a non-native language express themselves in verbalizing awareness.

Widyandana et al., in "Transfer of Medical Students' Clinical Skills Learned in a Clinical Laboratory to the Care of Real Patients in the Clinical Setting: The Challenges and Suggestions of Students in a Developing Country," present the results of focus group discussions with medical students in Indonesia. Focus groups addressed students' experiences applying skills they learned in a clinical skills laboratory environment to the care of actual patients during subsequent clinical rotations. Students expressed concerns and problems when they had to perform clinical skills on patients for the first time, particularly with respect to invasive clinical procedures. They noted that the equipment available sometimes differed from what they learned on in the skills labs, patients varied in anatomy and in their responses from mannequins, and that they, as students, didn't always have adequate supervision. The authors make the point of the importance of bringing 'real' patients early on into the learning process of medical students.

Finally, Jan van Dalen in his 'In the News' presents a reflection on "Health for, or health of the people?" Referring to comments recently made by the new Professor of Philosophy of Public Health at Maastricht University, van Dalen notes the disconnect between public health officials and the public whose lifestyle choices they seek to influence through public health media campaigns and service initiatives. There needs to be a reassessment of the relationship between public health sector calls for health behaviour change and the public's understanding of and willingness to participate in behaviour change. The public is no longer willing to accept without question the information and dictates of public health officials, and public health officials now need to better understand the people and their behaviours that they are attempting to influence. The public, according to van Dalen, should be brought in as 'co-constructors', not simply as objects, of public health policy.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this issue of Education for Health. Also, if you have not done so, we encourage you to become a registered user of the EfH website. This will enable you to receive Alerts on topics in education and health relevant to you.


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