Saturday, April 16, 2011

New initiative to impart teaching skills to doctors

The historical lack of formal teacher training for doctors may yet be reversed by recent trends offering degree and diploma courses for medical educators across the globe, Eamonn MM Quigley, past president, World Gastroenterology Organisation, said.

Very few doctors have had formal training as teachers, Prof. Quigley, who is with the University College, Cork, Ireland, explained. Teaching is a skill, and recent teacher training programmes that have emerged try to bring modern techniques into education, with a special focus on the intricacies that medicine demands. More and more countries are adopting such methods in order to teach their doctors to teach medicine, he added.

This is precisely what the WGO attempts to do with its 'Train the Trainers' programme — correct the deficit of a formal training as educators. The first session of the WGO's TTT was held for the first time in Chennai, between April 10 and 14, for about 50 gastroenterologists. Some of the aspects that were dealt with during the session, conducted in association with the Indian Society of Gastroenterology, included modules on adult education, teaching techniques, how to conduct high quality research, and evidence-based medicine.

Prof. Quigley's colleague at the WGO, its current treasurer David Bjorkman said the programme was a huge success and the discussions that took place were of the highest quality. The WGO was an organisation of national societies of gastroenterologists with the goal of improving digestive health across the world.

Twenty-five of the 50 participants were from India, according to conference chairman K.R. Palaniswamy. Though the response from professionals was overwhelming, the number of participants was deliberately kept to a low 50 in order to provide the kind of interactions and discussions that is an essential part of a WGO TTT.

The TTT will also be followed by a two-day continuing medical education (CME) programme to be held on Saturday and Sunday, conference organising secretary V. Balasubramanian, said. The lessons of the TTT programme would be encapsulated in a single session during the CME, he said.

Other issues that will be discussed are emergencies in gastroenterology, abdominal injuries, obscure gastrointestinal bleeds, chronic pancreatitis, dysphagia, and liver tranplants. A live workshop on endosonography and endobronchial ultrasonography will be held parallelly at the Apollo Hospital, he added.

Source: The Hindu, April 16, 2011

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