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UMass Medical School faculty teach course on medical education in China

UMass Medical School Communications

October 30, 2019
 
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Faculty from UMass Medical School recently
presented a course on medical education at the
China-Japan Friendship Hospital.

UMass Medical School faculty recently traveled to China to present a course on medical education in Beijing. The group included Luanne Thorndyke, MD, vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of medicine; Lan Qin, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology; Melissa Fischer, MD, MEd, associate dean for undergraduate medical education, curriculum innovation and iCELS and professor of medicine; Richard Forster, MD, vice chair for graduate medical education and associate professor of medicine; Anne Larkin, MD, senior associate dean for medical education and associate professor of surgery; and Robert Milner, PhD, associate vice provost for professional development and professor of neurology.

The group designed and presented a three-day course on excellence in medical teaching at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, a 2,000-bed medical facility and one of the largest in Beijing. The course was limited to 60 participants, and those selected were faculty physicians from all specialties, often heavily engaged in teaching and/or educational leadership responsibilities. Half of the class came from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and half from institutions across China, including the far distant provinces of Xinjiang and Yunnan. The goals of the course were to provide a sound medical education foundation for clinical educators and provide opportunities to practice new educational skills. Interactive sessions covered the fundamentals of educational planning, practical teaching methods essential for busy clinical faculty, and individual learner assessment and feedback.

A common interest in and passion for education connected the instructors and the class, despite the differences in language, culture and traditions of teaching. Participants engaged in interactive exercises, working in groups to plan and practice new skills. They finished the course with a commitment to incorporate the new knowledge into their daily teaching and to continue their peer interactions through social media. Certificates were presented to the participants to recognize completion of the course. 

The UMMS group also met with the president and vice-president of China-Japan Friendship Hospital to discuss further collaborations in education. This visit was the third to the hospital by UMMS educators and the development of the course was the result of the relationships built through the previous visits and the knowledge gained about their needs for faculty development in medical education. Dr. Qin, the major liaison with the hospital, said, “As someone who trained in China, it was an honor and pleasure to develop the collaborations and be able to return with my UMMS colleagues to give back to my home institutions.”

After the course, the group travelled to Nanjing where they were invited to visit Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, one of the first western hospitals in China. They met with institutional leaders and toured the hospital, which has state-of-the-art medical and educational facilities. Several faculty from Nanjing had participated in the course in Beijing.

“Engaging globally to provide medical education courses and training advances our social compact and promotes our global leadership and impact in community engagement and education,” said Dr. Thorndyke.

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