It is not curriculum but Educators which make the difference-Prof. Vishna Devi

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Plenary Session-I at ICHPE 2019 by UOL
It is not curriculum but Educators which
make the difference-Prof. Vishna Devi 
Institutions must make investment in moral,
personal development of faculty
Artificial intelligence will transform the 
future of Medicine - Prof. Rukhsana Zuberi

LAHORE: Prof. Idress Anwar alongwith Dr. Gohar Wajid and Prof.Shahid Mahmud Malik chaired the first plenary session during the ICHPE 2019 organized by University of Lahore last month. Prof. Rehan Khan was the moderator of this session.

Prof. Vishna Devi Nadaraja Vice Chancellor IMU from Malaysia was the first speaker who in her presentation pointed out that there should be no negotiation as regards faculty development which is critical for students centered learning. She laid emphasis on empowerment of students which improves ownership to the students. They should be treated as partners. Small group teaching is student centered. She also talked about Problem Based Learning and community engagement, skills training, best practices, faculty and the importance of research. Investment in faculty, she opined, is important as it was the faculty which matters, hence faculty must be nurtured.


Speaking about the moral and personal development of faculty Prof. Vishna said that one should support faculty from different aspects. Arrange workshops for them, organize on the job training, mentorship. We at IUM invest in faculty. Send colleagues to international visits, do not depend too much on external help. It is important to make sustainable investment in local expertize, we did it and it paid off. We have invested heavily in educational research, have teaching promotional track by offering Honours and Awards. Administrative staff which help in research is also included as authors. We always evaluate the effects of such initiatives and look at its impact. Students bring with them the resources and it has given us impact, recognition and it also plays a role in accreditation. She also talked about the shared resources concept. A survey showed that 97% of our students were satisfied with the facilities they were provided at the university. She concluded her presentation by saying that it is not curriculum but educators which make the difference.

Prof. Rukhsana Zuberi from Aga Khan University talked about the new frontiers in medical education. She laid emphasis that we must know our students and must differentiate between us and the younger generation. They have different myths. Class rooms are out of control as only few learn. We need to train students for jobs not yet created. We must be mindful of the needs of Generation Z and Alpha Generation. We should be realistic and creative. She also referred to being over communicated, culture of fear. Mobile technology has made lot of progress and now students prefer visual communication via technology. She also referred to the protective attitude of the parents and pointed out that artificial intelligence will transform the future of medicine. She then talked about empathy, communication skills which are all included in professionalism. We can increase supervision, give the students feedback. In leadership to give power is to gain power, she remarked.


Dr. Muhammad Saiful Bahri Yousaf from Malaysia gave details of a model empowering the students- centered education through experiential learning. He referred to abstract conceptualization and gave details of five features of experiential empowerment in which learners are involved, they are active participant. Student centered education, he stated, is characterized through collaboration, reflection, self-regulation and motivation. The shift from the teacher-centered to student-centered leads to major changes in educational practices. It affects the role of teacher during learning, the responsibility for learning, the purpose and process of evaluation as well as assessment. As such facilitating the changes require learner-centered teaching approach to empower the student centered education. He was of the view that the experiential learning approach was essential to empower teachers to embrace the student-centered education in their practices.

Prof. Lubna Baig from Jinnah Sindh Medical University Karachi highlighted the importance of starting internship in medical education. She pointed out that we are facing lot of issues and problems. We must find out what those graduates who qualified as medical educationists are doing? People in medical education create problems for Vice Chancellors. We all have to learn the new technology. Clinicians, she pointed out, are not interested to become future medical educationists as they cannot give so much time. She then talked about student’s mentorship, preferences, competence, performance competency and all these must be considered for further promotion.

At present in Pakistan there are seven Masters Programme in medical education and three PhD programmes. We already have two hundred doctors with Master’s degree in medical education and ten PhDs. We need to look at the competency of these medical educationists and their leadership qualities which includes teaching, learning, curriculum designing, leadership, programme evaluation, mentorship programmes and just not internship. Implementation of modification is part of research. We need student’s mentorship programmes and there is also need of option of doing electives. A time will come when re-certification of all medical educationists will also become essential.


During the discussion Prof. Junaid Sarfraz highlighted the importance of full time students of medical education. Prof. Rukhsana Zuberi opined that it is the mid-career professionals who are more interested. They will learn and the changes in the institutions will come from them. Prof. Tariq said that we need to utilize the services of every one which includes full time as well as part time medical educationists but at times there is resistance between the full time and part time faculty. Prof.Shahid Shamim spoke about the changes in assessment. He suggested that let us make the students members of the policy making and assessment committees. It was also pointed out that promotion should not be based on seniority alone. Prof. Rukhsana Zuberi said that people’s expectations from us as professionals must be recognized and respected. Winding up the discussion Prof. Idrees Anwar in his concluding remarks said that teachers must learn the new technology. Dr. Gohar Wajid opined that re-certification of all healthcare professionals needs to be looked into.