Summary: In the latest blog from Professor Harden, he updates us on his recent travels to Korea for the Korean Society of Medical Education meeting and some interesting Korean delicacy he sampled! Description: IMG_1151.JPG

I returned this week from a visit to Korea where I was participating as a keynote speaker at a meeting of the Korean Society of Medical Education in Yeosu in the south of Korea.  I had been asked to talk on the theme of learner-centred education and looked at this from three perspectives: 1.The student taking more responsibility for their own learning – independent learning: 2. Students having a choice - adaptive learning and 3. Student engagement in the curriculum and in the medical school as a partner rather than as a consumer.  I illustrated the approaches with examples.  The participants appeared to welcome this broader perspective of learner-centred education.  

Doctor Emmanuel Cassimatis, President of the ECFMG, talked about ‘Professoring at the university, in the army and at the ECFMG.  He highlighted how ‘professoring’ responsibilities grow during a career.  He described the current work of the ECFMG in the development of an international directory of the 2679 medical schools and in the development of an accreditation process for accreditors of medical schools.  This work was being undertaken in collaboration with the World Federation for Medical Education which, with the ECFMG support, he hoped would recover from its current fragile position.  Dr Cassimatis is retiring in June 2016.

The third plenary was by Akira Muraoka from Japan.  He provided a useful overview of developments in postgraduate medical education in Japan and described the rapid changes that had taken place.  After two years mandatory training young doctors enter speciality training involving basic studies in one of nineteen specialities, followed by studies in a sub-speciality field.  The expected learning outcomes and competencies had been defined but there appeared to be no attempt to move away from a time dependent model where what is fixed is time, to one where what matters is the competencies the graduates achieve with time variable and competencies fixed.

At the conference there was great interest in the AMEE exhibit and we quickly ran out of the SPICES and FAIR cubes and outcome-based education spheres we had taken with us.  The general enthusiasm of the conference participants for medical education was impressive.  I met one group organised by Yera Hur who have a regular two weekly meeting at which they discuss one of the chapters in the book I published with Jennifer Laidlaw, Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher.  Some are shown in the photograph.  


IMG_0122.jpgWe were extremely well looked after and entertained during our short visit to Korea.  In Seoul, Building 63 gives an excellent panoramic view of the city from the 63rd floor where there is also an art gallery and a Wishing Wall.  I left a wish for the continuing success of the Korean Society of Medical Education and for collaboration with AMEE.  There was an opportunity to experience some local Korean delicacies including as shown in the photo, the live octopus which you felt wriggling as you put it into your mouth!  We were entertained to dinner one evening by the committee of the Korean Society of Medical Education as in the photo.  This provided an opportunity to discuss how AMEE and the Korean Society may collaborate in the future.  Korea will be well represented at the AMEE 2015 meeting in Glasgow.  From January 2016 it is hoped that the journal of the association will be published in English rather than in Korean.


Thinking of other conferences, we will be inviting shortly tenders to host the 2018 Ottawa Conference.  In 2016 the Ottawa Conference will be in Perth, Australia.  Seoul in Korea might be an attractive venue.

Next week I travel to San Diego to attend the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) meeting where we have an AMEE exhibit and with Adi Haramati are running an ESME course.  This is another opportunity to see different perspectives of today’s medical education agenda.