The Academy of Health Professions Educators (AHPE) has been promoting quality improvement in the health professions education in India through various measures including its most visible and successful activity namely facilitating the holding of the National Conference of Health Professions Educators to facilitate and expedite diffusion of educational innovations, experience sharing of Good Teaching Practices and building a community of practice of educators helping each other to translate new learning into action in their respective home institutions.
The National Conference on Health Professions Education (NCHPE ) has been organized at various locations across India between 2007 and 2017 – with the inaugural edition being held at AIIMS, New Delhi in 2007. The conferences aim to bring key stakeholders in medical education in India together to deliberate on various issues and provide a powerful platform for learning by sharing experiences and thoughts.
In these conferences, various themes that were deliberated included :
- Faculty development (New Delhi: NCME 2007 )
- Good Teaching Practices (Pune: NCHPE 2010 )
- Measures to meet the healthcare needs of India (Vellore: NCHPE 2011)
- Making medical education socially accountable (Coimbatore: NCHPE 2012) - Recommendations: click here).
- Progress through partnerships: Promoting Educational collaboration (Mumbai: NCHPE 2013)
- Promoting collaboration between academic institutions and healthcare delivery systems (Wardha: NCHPE 2014)
- Making progress towards quality assurance and accreditation in medical education (Delhi: NCHPE 2015)
- Inculcating professional values in health care professionals (Karamsad: NCHPE 2016)
- Faculty development: Expanding horizons…fostering change (Jorhat : 2017)
The deliberations at these conferences led to the following conclusions :
- Faculty development programs need financial resources and institutional support
- Leadership, change management, educational research, and scholarship development should become part of faculty development programs
- The best practices for teaching-learning and assessment should be employed
- Participants should be encouraged to network with one another and to collaborate in an effort to learn from each other’s experiences and develop health professions education strategies that meet the real health care needs of India
- A strong collaboration between educators and health care services should be fostered
- A stronger collaboration between education and health sectors is needed where reforms in health education are determined by community health needs
- Professionalism should be taught explicitly as part of faculty development programs
- Move towards quality assurance and accreditation in medical education by focusing on ‘BRIC’ - which says that we need to
(B) ‘Build on existing system/infrastructure’,
(R) to be ‘Responsive to the changing needs’,
(I) be ‘Inclusive’ and
(C) ‘Co-operative, Competitive and Communicate well’.
NCHPE through its unique structure consisting of Key-note addresses by renowned speakers with first hand experience in specialised fields of education followed by Panel discussion by national Experts in the field and followed by small group-work involving faculty from all over India has opportunistically converted the deliberations into conference's recommendations for national policy makers (for a sample click here).
Thus, the AHPE seeks to improve health professions’ education in India by promoting faculty development programs, encouraging innovation, fostering collaboration, making education relevant to the societal needs and eventually moving towards quality assurance and accreditation in medical education.
Therefore it is a watershed moment for the entire north-eastern India that the first ever NCHPE to be held in this region in 2017 will help to usher in palpable change in the quality of medical education in the region.