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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 137-138

Co-Editors' Notes 26:3

Co-Editors, Education for Health

Date of Web Publication28-Jan-2014

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.125983

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How to cite this article:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 26:3. Educ Health 2013;26:137-8

How to cite this URL:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 26:3. Educ Health [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Jun 6];26:137-8. Available from:

This issue of Education for Health brings a lot of useful advice and insights on medical and health professions education - often based on qualitative research findings - from the United States, Australia, Africa, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Brazil. Topics include residency training, interprofessional education (IPE), mental health care, and workforce development.

Shaughnessy and Duggan describe a family medicine residency program where the residents are challenged to participate in a reflective exercise, or 'clinical blogging.' Through focus groups, the educators identify themes and summarize residents' perceptions and experiences. While the residents viewed reflection as a means of enhancing personal and professional self-development, they also expressed time conflicts between this exercise and professional duties in clinical care. The residents also reported difficulty in writing about emotional issues. More work needs to be done in understanding the overall benefits of reflection at this level of training vis-à-vis strategies for incorporating reflection into learning and practice.

In an article authored by a team from Indonesia and the Netherlands, Claramita et al. report on a partnership, doctor-patient, guide for teachers in the Indonesian context. The emphasis on developing a partnership guide is particularly important in a society where a cultural hierarchy exists between doctors and their patients. Teachers in this setting were willing to learn about a partnership style of doctor-patient communication; however, the process of introducing a partnership guide remained hindered by power 'distance' even between senior teachers and junior researchers.

From Sweden, the aim of the study by Wilhelmsson and colleagues was to describe how medical students' knowledge of the basic sciences is construed toward the end of their medical curriculum, focusing on how senior medical students explain the physiology of a given scenario. Using interviews and phenomenographic analysis, the researchers interpreted students' understanding of the physiology underlying the onset of fatigue for an individual on an exercise bicycle. Three categories of description depicted the qualitatively different ways students conceptualized fatigue: Well-integrated physiological and biochemical knowledge characterized by equilibrium and causality; conceptions of finite amount of substrate and juxtaposition of physiological concepts that are not fully integrated; and a fragmented understanding of disparate sections of knowledge without integration of basic science and clinical knowledge. The authors conclude that medical instruction should focus on making governing steps in biological processes clear and providing opportunity for causal explanations of clinical scenarios containing biochemical as well as clinical knowledge.

Opina-Tan describes the activities of interprofessional teams and student participants' perceptions of the pilot implementation of the Family Case Management, an IPE initiative of the University of the Philippines Community Health and Development Program in partnership with the Municipality of San Juan, Batangas. Five teams composed of medical, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech pathology students participated, providing health services to families with complex health needs in the community. Project activities were: (1) orientation of the team; (2) choosing the patient and family; (3) patient and family engagement; (4) assessment and goal-setting; (5) patient and family intervention; and (6) monitoring of outcomes. Quantitative and qualitative data analyses were performed. Students highly rated the experience and themes that emerged included learning about collaboration, appreciation of roles, holistic care, and service to the community.

From Australia, Robinson and colleagues point to the need for mental health emergency care delivery models to increase providers' knowledge and skill is mental health. A workplace program was developed and implemented, with this paper presenting the outcomes of the program for participants. The researchers found the program to be highly beneficial, particularly related to an increase by local emergency staff in both confidence and skills as well as self-efficacy in dealing with patients' aggressive behaviors.

Allyson Kelley from the United States offers an interesting perspective from her experience in a community-based participatory (CBPR) research course. The author discusses the challenges of CBPR, while reflecting on the impact of the approach on her and its potential for impacting institutions, funding agencies, policy makers, and community-engaged researchers.

Bennett et al. provide a detailed description of mentorship in African Health Research Training (AHRT) programs, examining Fogarty International Center (FIC) programs in Kenya and Uganda. They used case studies to understand the nature of mentoring and outcomes of the mentoring process through the FIC programs at the University of Nairobi and Makerere University. The researchers found that mentorship during and after FIC research training programs, while largely informal in nature, had positive impact on career development and the inclination to remain in health research and that local African mentors play a critical mentorship role.

Again on the topic of provider-patient communication, Rush Pierce, Jr. and colleagues present the results of use of a brief structured observation checklist to assess medical students' performance during hospital visits related to communication, physical examination, and professionalism. The brief structured observation included providing students with immediate feedback. Students reported the exercise to be useful and easy to schedule.

There are a number of Letters to the Editor in this issue covering a variety of topics, including: Use of Community Group Centers in Brazil for health education activities for older adults; concerns, in India, about restricting nonmedical professionals from teaching medical students; and, again from India, use of problem-based learning with learners in disciplines other than medicine.

Finally, you may notice there is no 'In The News' feature in this issue of EfH. After many years of providing insightful commentary, Professor Jan van Dalen has decided to step away from this piece of the journal. We surely understand the time and hard work that has gone into Jan's work for the journal, and we deeply appreciate his efforts and thank him for his contributions. We and the journal's readers will miss his insights and sensitivities.


Michael Glasser, Donald Pathman
Co-Editors, Education for Health


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