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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3

Co-Editors' Notes 27:1

Co-Editors, Education for Health

Date of Web Publication11-Jun-2014

Correspondence Address:
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.134287

How to cite this article:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 27:1. Educ Health 2014;27:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 27:1. Educ Health [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Jan 25];27:1-3. Available from:

This is a banner issue for Education for Health. We have both our regular author-initiated papers and those submitted to an open solicitation for a special issue on interprofessional education (IPE). We continue to receive excellent contributions from across the globe, addressing topics in education programs, research and service. The following is a brief description of each of this issue's contributions. Then, as part of an initiative of the Network: Towards Unity Health Taskforce on Interprofessional Education, we present six papers demonstrating models and outcomes of IPE. Professor Dawn Forman, along with a select committee, has spearheaded this collection of papers that demonstrates current work in the field of IPE. There is a lot to be gleaned from this issue of EfH!

Rudland and Rennie from New Zealand, in 'Medical Faculty Opinions of Peer Tutoring', assessed faculty opinions on how best to introduce peer tutoring for medical students. Staff expressed some concerns about peer tutoring, not previously identified in the literature, indicating a need to better communicate the benefits and disadvantages of a peer tutoring program.

Mirghani et al., in 'Superficial and Deep Learning Approaches among Medical Students in an Interdisciplinary Integrated Curriculum', from the United Arab Emirates sought to determine and compare learning approaches among medical students participating in an interdisciplinary integrated curriculum. They found that a 'superficial approach' to learning was the most often preferred among first and second year medical students, but the least often preferred among students in the final clinical years. Results may be useful in creating future teaching, learning and assessment strategies aiming to enhance a 'deep learning approach' among medical students.

From Sweden, in 'Students Perceive Health Care as a Valuable Learning Environment when Accepted as a Part of the Workplace Community', Hagg-Matinell and colleagues examined students' views of generic aspects of the healthcare environment that influence their progress towards professional competence. They found that, from a student perspective, a valuable learning environment is characterised as one where management, planning and organising are aligned and support learning. Students experience professional growth when the community of practice - in a hands-on environment - accepts them, and competent and enthusiastic supervisors give them opportunities to interact with patients and to develop their own responsibilities.

From Greece, Riga and Kossioni, in 'Body Expression Skills Training in a Communication Course for Dental Students', point out that in the health professions, competency in communication skills is necessary for the development of a satisfactory physician-patient interaction. The aim of their study was to describe the methodology and content of a pilot introductory training session in body expression for dental students before the beginning of their clinical training. Overall, dental students in the study felt that a preclinical experiential learning session improved their communication skills; and feedback from the training experience will enable further development of an effective communication course in clinical dentistry.

In Pakistan, Rauf et al., in 'Exploring the Trustworthiness and Reliability of Focus Groups for Obtaining Useful Feedback for Evaluation of Academic Programs,' describe use of focus groups as a tool to obtain in-depth information regarding students' experience with a new integrated, system-based curriculum. The purpose of their study was to explore how focus groups could help in identifying important issues for curriculum improvement and to explore the trustworthiness and representativeness of data obtained through this strategy. The authors concluded that the focus groups promote interaction among student participants, while providing important data to support curriculum reform.

In 'Pilot Undergraduate Course Teaches Students about Chronic Illness in Children: An Educational Intervention Study', from the United States Montenegro and colleagues describe a 10-week course designed to provide undergraduate students with the knowledge and skills required to understand and care for children with chronic or catastrophic illnesses. The course presented the illness experience from the child's perspective, providing information in a manner that was efficient, conducive, and memorable. The curriculum was offered as a graduate-level seminar that included workshops, lectures, readings, writing, and discussions. The authors concluded the classroom-based course serves as a feasible and cost-effective model to aid in improving student attitudes toward treating chronically ill children, as well as provides a unique opportunity to learn directly from those who care for and those who have lived with chronic illness.

Bonney et al, in 'Trust, Continuity and Agency: Keys to Understanding Older Patients' Attitudes to General Practice Trainees,' present the results of an Australian cross-sectional study that explored the factors underlying older adult patients' attitudes towards trainees participating in their care within an agency theory framework. Results indicated that better self-rated health, via higher institution/systematic trust, is associated with more favorable attitudes toward and greater interactions with trainees. Additionally, chronic illness, via a higher need for interpersonal continuity, is associated with lower comfort with trainees' participating in one's healthcare, and lower clinic attendance. Findings are consistent with agency theory, which shows potential as a framework for future interventions and research into older patient-trainee interactions.

Kelly and colleagues from both Canada and Australia seek to answer the question 'Community-based Medical Education: Is Success a Result of Meaningful Personal Learning Experiences?' The answer is a qualified "yes." Community-based medical education (CBME) is the delivery of medical education in a specific social context. The authors postulate that meaningfulness is engendered by the authentic context, which develops over time. Learners become a part of social and medical communities where their learning occurs. Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) are year-long community-based placements where the curriculum and clinical experience is typically delivered by primary care physicians. The characteristics of CBME are explored by the authors who suggest that the social and professional context provided in small communities enhances medical education. These relationships with preceptors, patients and the community provide meaningfulness, which in turn enhances learning.

Aggarwal and colleagues from India, in 'A Study of Obstetricians' Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices in Oral Health and Pregnancy', conducted a study to assess the knowledge and attitudes of practicing obstetricians in India about the relationship between oral health and pregnancy outcomes, as well as their practice behaviors regarding oral healthcare in pregnant women in Indian settings. They found significant correlations between knowledge of dental health effects on pregnancy and referrals of patients to dentists. The authors conclude that although obstetricians generally were knowledgeable about appropriate dental care practices during pregnancy as well as the relationship between oral health and pregnancy outcomes, this knowledge often did not translate into appropriate practice behavior.

In 'Think Global, Act Local: Medical Students Contextualize Global Health Education', Ibrahim et al. present a study where all pre-clerkship students at an urban Canadian university were invited to attend a voluntary global health education session on challenges in treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the developing world. The authors found that following exposure to a global health lecture on the challenges of HIV in the developing world, students possessed more favorable attitudes toward the treatment of marginalized local patient populations, a finding that may encourage other programs on global health in undergraduate and continuing medical education.

Jean-Jacques Guilbert, from Switzerland in a Commentary provides much food for thought and challenges for health professions education. This honorary member of Network: TUFH, in 'Why is it taking so long for healthcare professional education to become relevant and effective? What can be done', contends that action has not followed arguments for change in health professions education programs and policies. He states that only very few training institutions currently put newer approaches into practice, and the university culture, in fact, remains an environment that stifles change. Guilbert observes: 'The exams do verify students' memory for facts (saper), but hardly ever their metacognition and almost never their performance of professional competencies (that remain undefined). Too many authors speak more often of 'knowledge' rather than of 'competence'. A focus on professional competencies would imply defining an 'acceptable level of performance' in three areas: Intellectual skills (use of knowledge), sensory-motor skills and interpersonal communication skills (with patients and colleagues in the healthcare team). This is a think piece very deserving of reading and discussing.

We have a number of Letters to the Editor, from many countries, including India, United Kingdom, Iran, Syria, Aruba, and cover a range of topics: career intentions; fairness in testing; student medical journalism; the question of paying to publish; students' needs for computer skills; hope in education in the face of adverse political situations; and innovations in informatics and health professions education.

Finally, this issue presents the papers of the special issue on Interprofessional Education (IPE). Please see Professor Dawn Forman's opening comments for this IPE special issue and her introduction to each of its papers. We wish to sincerely acknowledge the commitment and work that Professor Forman has put into this selection and publication of IPE projects and programs. Related to the special issue, this month's Book Review is on Leadership Development for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, a volume edited by Professor Forman and her colleagues Marion Jones and Jill Thistlewaite. The book blends nicely with the papers presented in the special issue.

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