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TNMU professors attended the first Autumn School on Medical Education

On October 7-9, 2019, the first Autumn School on Medical Education, organized by the Ukrainian-Swiss Project “Medical Education Development” with the support of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Swiss Bureau of Cooperation and Development, was held at Bukovyna State Medical University. Ternopil National Medical University is one of three medical universities in Ukraine involved in the project dealing with the reform of higher medical education. The School was attended by the Vice-rector for Science and Education, Prof. A. H. Shulhai, Project Coordinators Head of the Department of Therapy and Family Medicine of the Institute of Postgraduate Education, Prof. M. V. Hrebenyk, Associate Professor O. L. Sydorenko, Director of the Institute of Nursing S. O. Yastremska, Associate Professors I. V. Korda, N. A. Bilkevych and N. B. Haliiash.

Participants of the Autumn School on Medical Education.

The Autumn School on Medical Education was opened by the Minister of Health of Ukraine Zoriana Skaletska, who noted that high quality education is the proper starting point for building a new health care system, and events like the Autumn School are urgently needed, as a community of leaders is being formed.

Another speaker at the opening of the School was Nicolas Gigas, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation and Development Bureau in Ukraine, who emphasized on the need for close cooperation of Switzerland and Ukraine for over 20 years. According to him, the common purpose of such cooperation is to improve the health care system in our country, and both “Medical Education Development” Project and the Autumn School are aimed at building a whole new level of knowledge for doctors and nurses.

Oksana Andriiets, Director of the Health Department of Chernivtsi Regional State Administration, stated that the first Autumn School is a new stage of development in health care and is a source of constant updating and support of professionalism.

Taras Boichuk, Rector of Bukovyna State Medical University, emphasized that high quality medical education is strategically important for the state, and the Autumn School is one of the first steps in such changes.

Janet Grant, President of the World Federation of Medical Education, impressed all participants of the event with an unforgettable experience and deep knowledge of the features of medical education at all levels. Her presentation “Improving the quality of medical education” explained the possibilities of controlling the quality of education at different levels.

Nino Kunzli, Professor at the Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health in Basel, stressed the importance of the team’s productive work in obtaining a quality educational product, and demonstrated the principles of building a medical university curriculum based on a competent approach. It has become evident that the formation of competencies such as professional communication and interaction, professionalism, research require a systematic approach and integration into the curriculum throughout the study period, and the application of OSCE allows to track the student’s progress in mastering practical skills.

Nino Kunzli, Professor at the Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health in Basel.

While working in small groups, the participants discussed the ways of controlling the quality of teaching, proper student-centred learning, university development strategies, and health-care issues

Nienke de Jong, Professor at the Department of Educational Development and Research at Maastricht University, The Netherlands, stressed the need to educate students as thinkers who are independent, adaptive, constantly improving, and have broad views on health and health care system.

Wim Groot, Professor of Evidence-Based Education at Maastricht University, The Netherlands, commented on aspects of academic integrity in education, noting that integrity is a commitment to honesty and personal responsibility for one’s actions.

David Schmidt, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Director of the Centre for Applied Ethics at the University of Fairfield, USA, stated that academic integrity determines the symbiosis of medical education and culture.

Janet Grant, President of the World Federation of Medical Education, conducted a workshop on using clinical cases to enhance students’ knowledge. She skilfully demonstrated the fact that the thinking processes of different people are individual, but professionals are distinguished by the ability to understand the course of thinking of colleagues. She also exemplified the importance of creating a positive atmosphere during the class.

At a workshop by Janet Grant, President of the World Federation of Medical Education.

On the second day, the events were arranged in the Marble Hall of Chernivtsi National University. It began with a report by Wim Groot, Professor of evidence-based education at Maastricht University, dedicated to the value of knowledge and skills in practical medicine, and a thorough analysis of ways to improve them at the postgraduate stage. Representative of Ukraine Oleksandr Linchevskyi, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine (2016-2019), tried to present “compelling” circumstances that force Ukrainian students and teachers to violate academic integrity, and his opponent David Schmidt of The University of Fairfield, USA, contradicted by proving the need to change the culture of universities and the entire academic community to create a transparent and fair environment for training future physicians. Experts discussed the issue of integrity in the context of whether Ukrainian students are cheating more than American students, whether there is sufficient reason to believe that the misconduct can be justified and explained.

Second day of the Autumn School. Debates on academic integrity.

While working in small groups, Yuliia Solodko went on to discuss this topic and introduced the SAIUP Academic Integrity Project, whose activities are aimed at creating a new academic culture based on the principles of honesty, real learning, fairness, trust and mutual respect of all participants.

Nienke de Jong presented a workshop on “Education in the 21st Century: Using E-Learning” and showed how to use the latest technologies to create a viable space for the outdoors.

During the last day of the School, the topics of discussion included continuous professional development for the sake of effective learning, the interaction of medical universities and society, as well as the direct link between medical education and the health care system. Janet Grant, President of the World Federation of Medical Education, stressed the importance of continuous professional development for effective learning: “The goals of continuous professional development (CPD) are patient safety and ethics, regulating the profession, improving the quality of health care services, personal professional development and satisfaction. CPD helps to improve the quality of medical education”. Nataliia Silina, an obstetrician-gynecologist, raised the issue of insufficient attention to sexual medicine, and Nataliia Riabtseva, Master of Health Management, presented the National Health Service of Ukraine.

The report by Inna Sovsun, a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, a senior lecturer at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and the Kyiv School of Economics presented exceptional interest, raising the issue of the role of universities and higher education in general in modern society, emphasizing that training can not confine themselves not only to professional competencies, but also to educate young people.

Within the framework of the project “Development of medical education”, a seminar on the development of nursing education was held at the end of the Autumn School. Associate Professor of Ternopil National Medical University S. O. Yastremska presented a report on achievements and future prospects for the development of nursing education in TNMU.

Kateryna Balabanova, Director of the State Center for Nursing Development of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, highlighted the existing problems in the development of nursing in Ukraine, and Vladyslav Odrynskyi (USAID project) stressed on the model of primary health care in Ukraine.

Sabina de Gest and Gret Van Mulderen of the Institute of Nursing at the University of Basel, Switzerland, presented the perspectives of change in nursing education, their advantages and disadvantages.

The seminar discussed potential collaboration for better nursing education.

We sincerely thank the organizers of the Autumn School for creating a favourable atmosphere for discussion and learning from the new experience.

Working moments of Autumn School.

Information was provided by Nataliia Haliiash and Oksana Sydorenko.