Summary: This fortnight Professor Harden discusses feedback and the OSCE and looks ahead to a trip to Malaysia for the 9th International Medical Education Conference. Description: I had a letter this week from a colleague in Australia who is investigating the possibility of a sabbatical in the UK.  A particular interest was the OSCE and feedback to students from the OSCE.  The request was for information about which schools in the UK had a particular interest in this topic.  Feedback and the OSCE is a theme that interests me and I am sure merits further work.  I remember when I was responsible for the curriculum in Dundee, students were asked to identify in a survey the three most valuable learning experiences in the previous six months.  To my surprise the OSCE and feedback from the OSCE came top of the list.  In Dundee we explored different approaches to feedback including providing feedback during the OSCE with every second station a feedback station.  Students were able to look at their checklist and scoring sheet from the station they had completed and watch a video of what was considered an appropriate performance.  Students’ performance in the OSCE was also videotaped at selected stations.  Another option tried was to arrange for the student, on completion of the station, to remain at the station as an observer and to watch the next student performing while looking at their own completed checklist.  More commonly feedback was given immediately following the examination with a meeting between the class of students and the examiners, each student again having their own station scoring sheets.  Perhaps most important were the interviews arranged with individual students where significant problems were identified in their examination profile in areas such as communication skills.

The arrangements for AMEE 2014 conference in Milan in August are now well advanced.  We received more than 2,500 abstracts for consideration for the short communication, poster and conference workshop sessions.  These are currently being reviewed by a large panel of reviewers with each abstract seen by three reviewers.  At the recent AMEE Executive meeting in London I summarised the evaluation results from the 2013 meeting in Prague and we looked at what suggestions might be incorporated into the 2014 meeting.  The value of networking during the conference was highlighted in the responses.  To facilitate this at AMEE 2014 we will identify a number of areas in medical education where participants might wish to talk with others with similar interests.  This will be indicated with an appropriate coloured spot on the name badge.  The importance of chairpersons for the short communication and poster sessions was emphasised.  We need about 180 chairpersons and have asked previous conference participants if they can recall an excellent chairperson to let us know so that we can ensure we invite them again.  It is always interesting looking at the conference evaluations to see the huge range of opinions offered.  With some plenary speakers rated poorly by some respondents and with others rating the same speaker as excellent and indeed suggesting that they be invited back for a further meeting.  The somewhat aggressive questioning of Geoff Norman in the final plenary by a conference participant came in for comment with some respondents feeling that it was inappropriate, while others feeling it added to the value of the meeting.Tweeted-figure.png

In a previous blog I mentioned that I addressed in an opening plenary at the Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference in Singapore in January the subject of collaboration in medical education.  I was interested to see that Kalyani Premkumar took a photograph of one of my slides which summarised the concept of a Collaboration Ladder and the various differences as one moved up the ladder and tweeted it as in the figure on the right.

At a meeting of the BEME Board last week, high on the agenda was the expansion of the number of BEME International Collaborating Centres (BICCs).  A large number of schools from around the world had expressed interest.  By expanding the number of BICCs we will have an opportunity to further develop the BEME collaboration.  At present almost all the effort has been into the production of BEME systematic reviews on a range of topics.  These have attracted attention but the need has been identified to expand the BEME activities to include the translation of results from research into practice.  How can a medical teacher identify evidence to inform their current teaching practice in a specific area?  A BEME review may not be available and it may not be the most appropriate tool.  I mentioned in a previous blog the Houston meeting I attended last month where a colleague suggested that the answer was the medical education equivalent of ‘Up-to-Date.’  This is widely used now as an evidence-based clinical decision support resource.  The question was asked could we not have a similar resource for medical education.

I leave this weekend for the Academic Council meeting of the International Medical University (IMU) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, followed by the 9th International Medical Education Conference (IMEC).  The theme is interprofessional education.  I am running a pre-conference workshop and giving a plenary presentation – ‘Interprofessional education – a long and winding road – but worth the effort.’  I will report back in my next blog.