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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Co-Editors' Notes 31:1

1 Co-Editors, Education for Health, University of Illinois, Rockford, Illinois, USA
2 Co-Editors, Education for Health, Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, Illinois, USA
3 Co-Editors, Education for Health, KIT Health, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Date of Web Publication14-Aug-2018

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.239028

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How to cite this article:
Glasser M, McKinley D, Flinkenflögel M. Co-Editors' Notes 31:1. Educ Health 2018;31:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Glasser M, McKinley D, Flinkenflögel M. Co-Editors' Notes 31:1. Educ Health [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Aug 15];31:1-2. Available from:

Welcome to the current issue of Education for Health, which presents papers for international readers from authors across the globe. Contributing to this issue are authors and papers from Australia, China, India, Iran, Kenya, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. In a time with much angst and uncertainty in the world, it is good to see the positive contributions that are being made to address health professions' programming and policy as well as health equity.

In this issue's first article, Youssef submitting from the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, “Attitudes toward Mental Illness among Caribbean Medical Students,” states that there are limited empirical data on all matters pertaining to mental illness in the Caribbean, but what little there is suggested significant levels of stigmatization. In this study, preclinical medical students were surveyed and then retested in their final year of training on a knowledge scale relating to mental illnesses and physical illness. They found that students recognized the need to prioritize treatment for persons with mental illness but did not want to be personally involved in the treatment process.

Taylor et al., from Australia, contribute “Simulated Patient and Role Play Methodologies for Communication Skills Training in an Undergraduate Medical Program: Randomized, Crossover Trial.” Students and volunteer-simulated patients participated in interactions across two courses, involving simulated patients and role play. Audio recordings of interactions were made and were rated using criterion descriptors in a modified Calgary–Cambridge Referenced Observation Guide. This study found that volunteer-simulated patients were not superior to role play when used in communication skills training targeted at preclinical students.

From the USA, Green et al. provide “Assessing the Hidden Curriculum for the Care of Patients with Limited English Proficiency: An Instrument Development.” The authors designed an instrument to assess this hidden curriculum. Based on findings from previous qualitative work and input from medical students and experts in limited English proficiency and psychometrics, they developed a 23-item survey with four domains sent to 3rd and 4th year students from two medical schools. They conclude that their instrument will allow medical educators to investigate a specific and important hidden curriculum and improve teaching about care of patients with limited English proficiency.

In “Pre-University Education Curriculum Reform and the Generic Learning Skills of Medical School Entrants: Lessons Learned from South Africa,” Burch et al. investigated the impact of extensive preuniversity curriculum revision on the generic learning skills of entrants to South African medical schools, which admit students directly from high school. In this study, students entering four medical schools from 2008 to 2011 were surveyed to determine their practice of and confidence in information handling, managing own learning, technical and numeracy skills, and computer, organizational, and presentation skills. Findings highlight the need for close monitoring of the impact of preuniversity education changes on the learning skill profiles of university entrants, to design effective university programs which enable students from diverse backgrounds to participate and adequately meet curricula demands.

Parvan et al., from Iran, conducted the study “The Relationship between Nursing Instructors' Clinical Teaching Behaviors and Nursing Students' Learning in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in 2016.” Study results showed a significant positive relationship between the extent to which nursing instructors used teaching behaviors and the effectiveness of these behaviors on students” learning. However, the researchers conclude that instructors' capabilities have to be improved regarding the effective utilization of some behaviors related to evaluation, personal characteristics, and nursing competency. In this respect, the use of comprehensive teaching programs can be beneficial.

Furthermore, from the USA, Lipsky and Cone contribute “A Review of Mastery Learning: The Roseman Model as an Illustrative Case.” In this article, the authors focus on mastery learning, which requires learners to demonstrate essential knowledge and skills measured against rigorously set standards without regard to time. The key elements of mastery learning include focus on a single subject, short curricular blocks, setting specific objectives, using frequent feedback, deliberative practice, and demonstrating mastery before moving onto the next subject. The authors conclude that, overall, the Roseman University mastery model is successful, where students report high levels of satisfaction and outcomes on examinations and attrition compares favorably to national averages.

In “Understanding the Fundamental Elements of Global Health: Using the Sen Capability Approach as the Theoretical Framework for a Health Needs Assessment in Deprived Communities” from Kenya and the United Kingdom, Ndomoto et al. discuss the results of part of the NHS Health Education England East Midlands Global Health Exchange Fellow Programme. A team of two Kenyan and two UK community clinicians worked together in deprived communities in Kenya and the UK using qualitative research methods to facilitate the communities in defining and prioritizing their health needs and in exploring potential resources and how they might achieve their needs. The authors conclude that clinicians who are taught in the evidence-based style need to reframe their understanding of community needs if they are to be effective in their work.

Working in this way can challenge their own values and beliefs.

DeCarvalho and colleagues contribute “Enhancing Medical Student Diversity through a Premedical Program: A Caribbean School Case.” In this paper, the authors contend that physicians with backgrounds underrepresented in medicine are more likely to practice in underserved communities and recruitment into and assistance during medical education has the potential to increase the number of physicians in practice in underserved areas. The Medical Education Readiness Program (MERP) is described, and conclusions are that MERP-like programs can help students with lower undergraduate scores succeed in medical school.

We also have five Letters to the Editor addressing significant topics. First, is the paper “Do Perceptions about Educational Environment Influence Academic Performance? A Cross-sectional Study of Undergraduate Medical Students in Madurai, South India,” from Jeyashree et al. They conclude that students and faculty need to be sensitized to self-directed learning and newer teaching methods that actively involve students must be adopted. From the USA, in “What Do Medical Students Think About Health-care Policy Education?” Theophanous et al. found that students were interested in learning about health-care policy and believed that physicians should have a basic understanding of health policy and also felt that physician opinions can impact policy decisions. In a third letter, Joob and Witwanitkit, “Scientific Misconduct in Publication among Medical Students: Education and Role Model,” make a strong statement on plagiarism and scientific misconduct. In a fourth letter from the USA, Nothelle et al. in “Resident-to-Resident Handoff of Primary Care Practice when Transitioning to an Inpatient Rotation” show that residents are concerned about the care of their outpatients while they are unavailable. However, different from prior work, these concerns did not necessarily lead to handoffs. In a fifth Letter to the Editor, “SNAPPS Facilitates Clinical Reasoning for Outpatient Settings” from India, Jain et al. conclude that the SNAPPS technique for case presentation in the outpatient setting enhances the expression of clinical reasoning without having much effect on the time for case presentations.

Finally, on a sad note, we have statements regarding Prof. Bernard Groosjohan, who recently passed away. He will be remembered for the work he did in Sub-Saharan Africa and his contributions to the Network: Toward Unity for Health.


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