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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3

Co-Editors' Notes 28:1

1 Co-Editors, Education for Health; University of Illinois, Rockford, Illinois, USA
2 Co-Editors, Education for Health; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Date of Web Publication31-Jul-2015

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.161812

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How to cite this article:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 28:1. Educ Health 2015;28:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Glasser M, Pathman D. Co-Editors' Notes 28:1. Educ Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Jun 7];28:1-3. Available from:

Welcome to a full and informative issue of Education for Health! This issue has 19 manuscripts along with 5 letters to the editor and 1 book review. Topics covered include surgery competencies, interprofessional team training, telemedicine, the patient-centered medical home, and blended learning. Papers in EfH reflect the insights and innovations of health professions educators from across the globe; in this issue from 11 different countries.

The lead-off article for this issue is from Jamkar and colleagues, "Expected Surgical Competencies of an Indian Medical Graduate: A Gap Analysis Using a Cross-sectional Survey." This is a very thorough and important study on surgeons' perceptions of competencies in their skills and practice. Results of this study can be used in developing competency-based curricula, assessment, and structuring faculty development programs.

Elobu et al., in "Research in Surgery and Anesthesia: Challenges for Post-graduate Trainees in Uganda," looked at trainee experiences and perceptions of research to identify possible interventions to increase the production of high quality and locally led surgical disease research in a resource-constrained setting. The researchers identify several challenges, including project development, funding, and mentorship. The goal should be to strengthen support for these trainees.

From India, Biswas et al. contribute "Small Group Learning: Effect on Item Analysis and Accuracy of Self-assessment of Medical Students." The researchers point to the importance and impact of small group sessions as improving the ability of students to self-assess their knowledge and in increasing the difficulty index of items reflecting students' better performance.

In "The Operating Theatre as Classroom: A Qualitative Study of Learning and Teaching Surgical Competencies," Kieu and colleagues, like Jamkar et al. above, examine perceptions of surgical trainees and surgeons related to competency-based education - this time focusing on the operating room. In this study from Australia, among the themes identified in learning and teaching related to surgical competencies were: The importance of relationship-based mentoring and experiential learning; conditions and challenges in the operating theatre involve availability of time and personal attitude; and importance of the postoperative debriefing but recognition that it not consistently performed.

From Greece, Msaouel et al. contribute "Comparison of Resident Performance in Interpreting Mammography Results Using a Probabilistic or a Natural Frequency Presentation: A Multi-institutional Randomized Experimental Study." The overall aim of their study was to assess the ability of residents to accurately integrate statistical data from a mammography test to estimate breast cancer probability and to assess whether a simple alteration of the representation mode of probabilities into natural frequencies facilitated computations. The study found that residents more often correctly understand test performance accuracy when the characteristics are presented as natural frequency representations than as single event probabilities.

Mudiyanse and colleagues in "Translation and Validation of the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale in Sri Lanka," present the results of translating and validating the PPOS to the Sinhala language. The translated scale was administered to 543 medical students, 67 doctors, 335 allied health students, and 422 patients. The researchers found the PPOS-Sinhala to be stable and sufficiently valid and reliable in evaluating patient-centeredness among Sinhala-speaking healthcare professionals and patients.

In "Effectiveness of Team-based Learning in Microbiology: A Non-randomized Control Study," Harakuni et al. evaluated the effectiveness of team-based learning (TBL) in conjunction with lectures to enhance learning of applied microbiology. 'Study group' students attended TBL sessions; 'control group' students opted for self-study over TBL. Overall, the TBL group outperformed self-study. However, TBL improved the performance of male students over self-study but not of female students.

Tripathi et al. from India report on "Development of Active Learning Modules in Pharmacology for Small Group Teaching." They compare active with traditional or tutorial learning models. Overall, students performed better with and preferred active learning. However, the students also indicated a preference for tutorial methods when preparing to pass examinations.

In another article focused on teaching and learning strategies, O'Shea and colleagues, from the USA, discuss the promise of telemedicine in medical education and point to studies demonstrating the efficacy of use of telemedicine. In "Telemedicine in Education: Bridging the Gap," the authors conclude that telemedicine, as part of a progressive approach to medical education, fosters collaboration, communication, longitudinal care, and teaches students the needed skills for practice as '21 st century healthcare providers.'

In "Instituting a Radiology Residency Scholarly Activity Program," from the United States, Amrhein et al. present results from a new program for resident scholarly activity that includes a curriculum to enhance resident training in research. In a climate of responding to a governing body's regulations for post-graduate education and training, the researchers found that radiology residents and faculty at a large teaching hospital were generally favorable to changes in the curriculum related to scholarly activity. The authors also point out that times of externally required modifications create opportunities for creative changes.

Also from the USA and again focusing on post-graduate education, Doolittle and colleagues contribute "Implementing the Patient-centered Medical Home in Residency Education." This article addresses the challenges and preliminary success of a pilot project to address teaching needs related to the patient-centered medical home model. The researchers conclude with a model applicable to other health professions education institutions.

In line with one of our previous Education for Health special issues on interprofessional education (2014, 27:1), we have two more articles on this topic. From the United States, van Schaik and colleagues contribute "Challenges of Interprofessional Team Training: A Qualitative Analysis of Residents' Perceptions." The goal of the study was to explore medical residents' perceptions of simulation-based interprofessional team training. Participants felt that simulated resuscitations were helpful but anxiety-provoking, and they questioned the value of interprofessional debriefing. The distinction between interprofessional education and multidisciplinary health care may be an important consideration in terms of health professions education curriculum development and programs. From Canada, Milot et al. "Building an Interfaculty Interprofessional Education Curriculum: What Can We Learn from the Universite Laval Experience?" also focus on interprofessional education (IPE). The authors lay out the process behind developing and implementing an IPE curriculum in 10 health and social sciences programs, specifically involving medicine, nursing, and social sciences. Primary objectives, the teaching approach, and implementation issues are presented.

In "Student Participation: To the Benefit of Both the Student and Faculty," Dhaese et al., in an article primarily written by students, describe the structure and activities of engaging students in designing and improving the curriculum at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Ghent University in Belgium. They give an example of major curriculum change led by students and point out that involvement in curricular change strengthened students' leadership skills.

Chatterjee and colleagues, from India, in "Let's 'Play' with Molecular Pharmacology," looked at role-play as an effective and well-accepted method for teaching pharmacology. The researchers found significant improvement in knowledge through this technique, with most students indicating that role-play was an acceptable teaching strategy. The authors conclude that role-play can be effectively used in teaching molecular pharmacology.

In "Views of Practitioners of Alternative Medicine toward Psychiatric Illness and Psychiatric Care: A Study from Solapur, India," Holikatti and Kar examined the views of alternative medicine practitioners toward psychiatric disorders, patients, and interventions. They used the Attitudinal Inventory for psychiatry and focused on practitioners of Ayurveda and Homeopathy. Of particular interest, a large proportion of responding practitioners felt that doctors other than psychiatrists are unable to identify psychiatric disorders.

In another study from India, "Factors Causing Stress among Students of a Medical College in Kolkata," Gupta et al. looked at the sources of stress in students in West Bengal as well as assessed the reliability of the Medical Students' Stressor Questionnaire. Over 90% of medical students were at risk for stress. The researchers state that early detection and remedying stressors will help build physical and mental health in students, where early language training relating to the local population could also help reduce academic stress in the students.

Anand and colleagues, in "Body Weight Perception among Students in a Medical School in Central Delhi, India," assessed medical students' self-perceptions of body weight and physical activity and measured body mass index (BMI). Nearly 60% of students were in the normal range as indicated by BMI. However, a significant number of students who were overweight or obese did not perceive themselves as outside the normal range. The authors conclude that there is a need to both address the self-perceptions of the students and develop health promotion interventions, for both the health of these students and to help them become more effective practitioners for their obese patients.

From Germany, in "Creating a Blended Training Module in an Online Master Study Programme in Oncology," Mayer and colleagues describe the challenges of developing an e-learning model, using the example of a medical biometry course. The study program consisted of the majority of lectures online using didactic videos, with in-person one-week seminars. The researchers found that more direct interaction of lecturers and students in a blended learning setting outperforms solely web-based contact in terms of learning advantage and student satisfaction.

In this issue, we also present five letters to the editor submitted; from India (2), the Netherlands, China, and the United Arab Emirates (1 each). Topics include: The need for Indian Ophthalmology residencies; embracing integrative and holistic health care; providing an online nutrition module in medicine; the importance of obstetricians' knowledge and attitudes related to oral health and pregnancy; and teaching orofacial syndromology using case- and team-based learning.

Finally, the book review for this issue discusses Gentle Rebel: The Life and Work of Granger Westberg, Pioneer in Whole Person Care, an account of the life and teaching of Dr. Granger Westberg. Dr. Westberg challenged traditional medical models, advocating for integration of a spiritual approach in healthcare delivery. He was truly an inspiration in fostering an interprofessional and wholistic approach to patient care. We have been very fortunate to have his daughter, Dr. Jane Westberg, as an associate editor of Education for Health.

We look forward to your comments and continuing submissions to Education for Health.


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