Create a culture which is supportive, non-threatening and give emphasis to professional core values


Prof. Ara Tekian speaks on Innovations in Medical Education

Create a culture which is supportive, non-threatening
and give emphasis to professional core values

Highlights the importance of Team work, collaboration,
transparency, leadership, human resources, open
communication and institutional culture of patient safety

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Prof. Ara Tekian PhD, MHPE an eminent medical educationist, Associate Dean and Director of International Affairs in Medical Education at University of Illinois, Chicago USA during his recent visit to Pakistan also visited United Medical and Dental College Karachi. He made a presentation on Trends and Innovations in Medical Education which was largely attended by the UM&DC Faculty members besides students. In his presentation, Prof. Ara Tekian said that we must create an educational environmental culture which is supportive, non-threatening and give due importance to professional core values. He also highlighted the importance of team work, collaboration, transparency, leadership, human resources, and open communication besides institutional culture of patient safety.


Prof. Ara Tekian from University of Chicago USA delivered a lecture on Trends and Innovations in
Medical Education at United Medical and Dental College Karachi on December 10th 2014. Photograph
taken on this occasion shows Prof. Ara Tekian photographed along with Prof. Umar Ali Khan from
Isra University, Dr. Bilal Faiz, Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid, Prof. Seema Mumtaz, Brig. Khalid and others.

During his hour long presentation which was followed by interactive discussion, Prof. Ara Tekian covered a number of issues related to medical education from admissions to curriculum affairs, competencies, instructions, distance learning, simulations, educational environment and culture besides faculty development. Currently, he said, lot of research was going on in medical education in North America. Speaking about admissions, he referred to different quotas for male and female students, ethnicity, test scores, personal characteristics, motivation, leadership skills, and selection criteria for medical students including interviews, multiple mini interventions, and personal history of the students besides serious indication of behaviour problems which are all extremely important.

As regards curriculum, it can be traditional, discipline based, system or organ based, competency based and outcome based. There has been some tension between the basic science teachers and clinical medicine practice but what we need is integration and relevance. He also referred to Hybrid and blended curriculum. People are looking at the competencies of the graduating students. In graduate medical education one looks at the medical expertise. Besides that the fresh medical graduates should have the qualities of being a good communicator, collaborator, manager, scholar, health advocate and professional. Patient care, inter professional collaboration, system based practice, practice based learning and improvement of professionalism were also important. By the Year 2007, every Resident in United States was provided this programme. He then talked about Tele Photo which is more granular while the panoramic view is more global. It is also important as to what sort of a behaviour one cannot trust, he added.

Speaking about the assessment of competencies Prof. Ara Tekian referred to quality measures, reliability and validity, standards and standards setting, simulations besdies use of Manikins. He also talked about machine based and work place based assessment. Instructions, he further stated, has seen many changes from small to large group teachings. There have been many innovations in teachings i.e. use of simulations and standardized patients. He then mentioned about team work; inter professional education, interactive teaching, role modeling and mentoring. While making clinical decisions one organizes knowledge in the brain with feed back. Independent and self directed learning, integration, habits of inquiry and professional identity all matters a lot. In medical education all methods of information extraction are used. It is also important as to how different you are from other professionals while Code of ethics has its own importance, he added.

In distance education/learning, Prof. Ara Tekian mentioned e learning, computer assisted instructions, e resources and electronic media, virtual medical schools and various other new directions in e learning. Simulations, he said, has become a big industry. It is used for deliberate practice and feed back on performance. It is also effective in measurement of skills, acquisition and maintenance of mastery in learning transfer to practice, for team training and instructor training. As regards faculty development, we need assessment of teachers, scholars and their work besides assessment of senior academicians. It can be mandatory or optional but faculty assessment has its impact, he remarked.

Continuing Prof. Ara Tekian also mentioned about accreditation to maintain national and global standards. He also talked about the changing roles of various accreditation institutions, organizations like LCME, ACGME and World Federation of Medical Education. It is the institutions which get first accredited. Then comes the issues of equivalence and transferability, physician’s migration, student’s faculty exchange programme, ethics, web based technology which figure in globalization of medical education, he remarked.

During the discussion which followed replying to a question regarding reluctance of the basic science teachers to integrated teaching, Prof. Ara Tekian remarked that when you start an assessment programme based on integration, these problems will be resolved automatically. The assessment should be based on integration by putting a case scenario. Responding to another question as to how important it was and how to judge the aptitude of the students whether they are suitable to take up medicine as a career, Prof. Ara Tekian said that it was important but not so easy. It is a bit difficult. He reiterated the importance of mini multiple interventions which could be helpful in this regard. Again life long learning is difficult to measure. Doctors have to develop practice by looking for search of knowledge. One should provide them opportunities to go and search for knowledge. Basic science knowledge, Prof. Ara Tekian remarked is extremely important even in problems based learning. We give basic science lectures to final year class as by this time they are much better able to understand basic sciences. There has been an explosion of knowledge and it is not possible to teach every thing to the students, Prof. Ara Tekian concluded.

Prof. Surgeon Faiz Mohammad Khan Chairman of the Board of Governors of United Medical & Dental College speaking at the occasion said that teaching starts the day one is born and the day one stops thinking and learning, one dies. Knowledge, he further opined, should be made simple and open. If you ask the right question, you will get the right answer. Prof. Umar Ali Khan Pro Vice Chancellor of Isra University also briefly addressed the participants and emphasized the importance of collaboration between different medical institutions.

Earlier welcoming the distinguished guest speaker Dr. Bilal Faiz Khan said that it was a great opportunity for all of us to learn form the learned speaker. It was one of the gracious moments for different levels of medical educationists to learn and benefit from the thoughts of an eminent medical educationist. He also commended Prof. Kazi, Prof. Umar Ali Khan and said that they feel pleasure in their cooperation with Isra University. Later in his concluding remarks Dr. Bilal Faiz Khan opined that academic and non-academic sections were all important in medical education. This country needs young, smart, talented and competent people. We have tried to collect smart people in our teaching faculty which is running and managing this institution, he remarked.