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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-80

Co-Editors' Notes 25:2

Co-editors, Education for Health

Date of Submission28-Oct-2012
Date of Web Publication14-Nov-2012

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.103451

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How to cite this article:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 25:2. Educ Health 2012;25:79-80

How to cite this URL:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 25:2. Educ Health [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Aug 15];25:79-80. Available from:

We are back from the Thunder Bay, Ontario 'mega-conference' - which included nearly 850 people from various sponsor organizations including The Network: Towards Unity for Health, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Wonca World Rural Health, Flinders University, the Consortium for Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (ClIC), and Training for Health Equity Network (THEnet). The conference covered many interesting topics and afforded great opportunities for networking.

This current issue of Education for Health (EfH) is similarly exciting with information on a wide range of topics and studies using quantitative and qualitative methods, which challenge us as health professions educators to keep current in our work with students, colleagues and communities.

Widyandana and colleagues, in 'Patients' Appreciation of Pre-Clinical Student Performance in Primary Healthcare Centres in Indonesia,' explore whether patients of PHC centres are accepting of having third-year pre-clinical students involved in their care. The authors found that patients were satisfied with students' clinical performance and generally appreciated the health services provided by the students. Widyandana et al. conclude that medical schools in developing countries should explore the possibilities of involving PHC centres in offering early clinical experiences to pre-clinical students.

Bashour et al., in 'Involving Patients in Medical Education: Ethical Issues Experienced by Syrian Patients,' identified ethically pertinent reactions of patients who had been presented to students in a large classroom setting for teaching purposes. Using in-depth interviews, patients identified both positive and negative ethical themes, including perceptions of treatment with a lack of dignity and inadequate explanations but also a sense of service to both medical students and the community. The authors conclude that medical students and their teachers in some settings need more training in the ethical involvement of patients in the student learning process.

Torrance and colleagues from the United Kingdom comment on a similar theme in 'Learning Objects? Nurse Educators' Views on Using Patients for Student Learning: Ethics and Consent.' Their objective was to explore nurse educators' views of using patients in student learning through use of focus group discussions. Educators believed that patients do benefit from being cared for by well-qualified nurses and to achieve this, it is necessary for patients to participate in clinical training. The authors point out that most patients appear to be willing to have students participate in their healthcare. They conclude that healthcare education needs to embrace this generosity and ensure that each patient can make a fully informed choice and that appropriate use is made of viable alternatives to the traditional clinical learning environments.

In terms of programs focused on special programs and initiatives in medical education, Basu and Roberts contribute 'Towards a Public Health Curriculum in Undergraduate Medicine.' They state that while the need to adequately train medical professionals in public health has been recognized internationally, public health curricula in undergraduate medicine are poorly defined. To provide insight, Basu and Roberts developed a questionnaire on public health subject areas and competencies that was administered to a sample of medically trained individuals who were teaching and working in public health. Subject areas ranked as most important to include in the curriculum of medical students were epidemiology, health promotion, and health protection; highly ranked competencies were understanding health inequalities, empowering people about health issues, and assessing health program effectiveness. The study provides a context for addressing concerns over inconsistencies in expectations of public health education for future physicians and what is actually taught in medical schools.

In 'Teaching Medical Students Neonatal Resuscitation: Knowledge Gained and Retained from a Brief Simulation-based Training Workshop,' Lai et al. from Malaysia conducted a neonatal resuscitation training workshop for final-year medical students. The workshop was adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics and included lectures, simulation, interactive video, as well as pre and post-workshop assessments. The workshop showed modest gain in student knowledge, and the authors call for additional research to evaluate how such workshops enhance longer-term knowledge retention in practical performance.

In 'A Student's Analysis of the Moi University-Linkoping University Exchange Programme,' Mwenda describes the results of an elective/exchange program, involving students from multiple health professions between these Kenyan and Swedish universities. Strengths of the exchange program were that students were exposed to new cultural and healthcare settings and allowed to understand differences in education and health practices internationally. The author states there is a need to expand the collaboration between the two universities, so more students have the opportunity to experience the overseas exchange program.

Amaral and colleagues from across Brazil and in the United States, in 'An Educational International Partnership Responding to Local Needs: Process Evaluation of the Brazil FAIMER Regional Institute," present the outcomes of a two-year faculty development program for health professions educators. Data were analyzed for the years 2007-2009. There were a total of 98 Program Fellows, representing 26 Brazilian states. Through the fellowship, there was a significant increase in knowledge related to research skills, and the majority of fellows reported that their fellowship's research project findings had been incorporated into curriculum and institutional policies. Contributing to program success have been alignment of curriculum with government initiatives, curriculum design merging with instruction in educational technology, leadership and management, and responding to local educational needs.

In a Brief Communication, 'The Influence of Pre-admission Tracks on Students' Academic Performance in a Medical Programme: Universiti Sains Malaysia,' Arzuman et al. conducted a record review to examine the predictive power of pre-admission tracks on academic performance. They found that graduates of the High School Certificate track and with a Biology background demonstrated more positive academic performance than other groups. While the authors state that medical schools need to take into consideration respective philosophy, course objectives and curriculum models in student selection, their study points to the importance of considering factors associated with performance variables in the selection of students for the future medical workforce.

Jan van Dalen, associate editor for EfH, presents In the News: 'Unhealthy Conflict.' The issue is the role of teamwork and its effects on quality of healthcare delivery, an important topic globally. It is interesting that from a sociological perspective task conflicts regarding teamwork are regarded as 'inevitable and beneficial' by some observers, since conflicts lead to discussions among partners that in turn improve team functioning. Teamwork, by its nature, would seem to flow along the lines of a functional approach - bringing together all disciplines involved in a logical and systematic approach to education and teamwork development. It is possible that both conflict and functional perspectives are necessary in bringing together healthy solutions to an 'unhealthy conflict.'

Finally, we have two Letters to the Editor. First, from Iran, Heydari et al. in 'Inappropriate Time Splitting among Endocrine Topics in Undergraduate Medical Education' make the case for the importance of medical educators considering how time is split among various endocrine topics students should learn. From their experience, they conclude that too little time is spent on the most important topics and offer solutions that can apply locally and possibly to other institutions.

Second, from Nepal, Ansari points to the fast growing pace in the number of medical colleges and the expansion of services at the community level in Nepal. In the context of what is described as 'chaotic mushrooming' within the country, Ansari focuses attention on the availability of basic healthcare, quality of incoming students to programs and quality of teaching-learning opportunities. The author calls for a 'close look' at the process and outcomes of rapid expansion.

Michael Glasser, Ph.D.

Donald Pathman, M.D., MPH

Co-Editors, Education for Health


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