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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Co-editors' notes

1 National Conference of Bar Examiners, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
2 University of Illinois, Rockford, Illinois, USA

Date of Submission30-May-2021
Date of Acceptance01-Jun-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Danette McKinley
National Conference of Bar Examiners, Madison, Wisconsin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.320347

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How to cite this article:
McKinley D, Glasser M. Co-editors' notes. Educ Health 2021;34:1-2

How to cite this URL:
McKinley D, Glasser M. Co-editors' notes. Educ Health [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 10];34:1-2. Available from:

Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and ongoing political unrest, we present this issue of Education for Health. As with past issues, Journal content includes Original Research, Brief Communication, Student Contribution, Practical Advice, an Invited Commentary, and Letters to the Editors from around the world. In this issue, there are contributions from India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The articles address access from a number of perspectives. The topics covered in this issue include the effectiveness of a short-term international exchange program, factors affecting selection of rural practice, the need for healthcare professionals to improve the care of the LGBTQ community, and suggestions for improvement of journal club and peer teaching for instruction. The invited commentary encourages “cultural humility” as the global pandemic has provided another example of the issue of access to care.

In their article titled “An Evaluation of a Medical Student International Service Learning Experience in Southeast Asia,” Davis et al. present information that showcases an effort to evaluate a week-long international clinical experience. Using adapted, validated instruments to measure pre- and post-intervention self-ratings of clinical and cultural competency, students participated in a 1-week elective offered by their school. The study found that the week-long experience improved clinical and cultural competence. This was important because these findings occurred after just a week, making the program accessible to more students. The authors provide a critical view of the benefits and risks of short-term international exchanges.

Recruitment of healthcare providers in rural areas continues to be a challenge. Amy and Shankar conducted a qualitative study to identify factors related to required rural service and retention of physicians. The work is timely and addresses an international concern continuing maldistribution of physicians. Their findings indicated that similar factors could be both facilitators and/or barriers; these were financial, peer influence, and time utilization. The researchers also found facilitators that were not as common in the literature, including religious beliefs and readiness to broaden perspective. Overall, this research is important in identifying factors not previously considered.

For some time, several issues regarding health inequities have been made apparent. In the United States, a need for change in education and policy is detailed in Moran's article, “LGBTQ Population Health Policy Advocacy.” There is evidence that lack of knowledge and bias negatively impact the care provided to this community. Fear of discrimination and abuse cause delays in seeking care; policies that permit healthcare providers to refuse care only exacerbate the lack of trust between these patients and practitioners. Patient satisfaction and inclusive attitudes can be improved by ensuring that education specific to the needs of LGBTQ patients is provided beginning at the undergraduate level and continuing through professional development (i.e. continuing education). Organizational policies must also change to support efforts to improve care.

Rajhans et al. evaluated journal club in ophthalmology by asking students how it was implemented and what they perceived regarding effectiveness. While students acknowledged that journal club was meant to improve presentation and research skills, as well as the ability to critically appraise research, there were improvements needed. The limited use of technology, lack of alignment between discussed topics and curriculum, minimal knowledge of research methodology/statistics, and lack of critical appraisal guidelines were identified by the study participants. The authors acknowledged the value of the journal club and recommended steps to ensure that educational goals are achieved.

In “Informal Near-Peer Teaching in Medical Education: A Scoping Review,” Shaw used his institution to define the nature of informal peer teaching and conducted a theory-based literature review to identify the benefits and challenges of this activity. The findings were similar to Rajhans et al.; minimal knowledge, lack of resources, and a lack of content monitoring were among the weaknesses identified. However, the work acknowledges the strength of informal peer training since formal peer training (i.e. faculty arranged and monitored) may alienate students who are most in need of support. All students could learn more about tutoring and the support of their peers to supplement near-peer teaching.

In an invited commentary addressing issues arising during the pandemic, Hinkle encourages “cultural humility” in managing patients. This approach is other-centered; meeting patients “where they are.” The global pandemic has made discrepancies based on social capital and economic resources more obvious, though these disparities have been in place for some time. The commentary details the importance of this approach to patient care and the education of healthcare providers. The pandemic forced change in the provision of community-based experiences of and care provided by health professions students. Through the lens of cultural humility, meeting the needs of patients and students where they are should generate different models for the provision of care and education, with an emphasis on accessibility.

Letters to the Editor are from Brazil, Egypt, the UK, and the US and focus on models for planning faculty development and using technology in unique ways in health professions education – one addressing medical student training during COVID-19.

We believe that these articles meet the goals of the journal to disseminate work about health professions education that leads to improved health and healthcare delivery. Please let us know whether these articles help you in your own educational and scholarship efforts.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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