Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Managing Growth in Medical Education

Raghavan M, Martin BD, Ripstein I, Sandham JD.
University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine.
Abstract of article published in the Journal of the International Association of Medical Science Educators in 2010.

In response to concerns about future physician shortage, urgent calls have been issued in the USA and Canada to increase medical student positions by 20-30% from current numbers. Yet very little information has been published on how to successfully plan for and manage medical school expansions.

Between 2000 and 2008, the University of Manitoba gradually managed a 53% expansion in Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) class-size. The latest installment of UGME expansion occurred in 2008-09, amidst concurrent growth in Postgraduate Medical Education. In the same year, a program to evaluate and educate international medical graduates expanded 58% and, a new Physician Assistant Education Program was implemented. To meet the challenge of maintaining quality education for all learners and to appropriately plan for resource development, a systematic inventory of teaching responsibilities and an analysis of the gap between teaching capacity in 2007-08 and future demands were done. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, pre-clinical teaching was expressed in instructor-hours while clinical teaching was expressed as learner-weeks in clinical teaching units.

The methodology and the guiding principle that data should be expressed numerically using common units across all departments and programs, aided in unequivocally identifying scarce resources and competing needs. The results, allowing for a Faculty-wide accounting of future commitments, set in motion a teaching-based pro-rating system to allocate funding across departments in a transparent manner. Our methodological approach and experience will be of interest to faculty and administration involved in expansion of health professionals’ education.

Reference: Raghavan M, Martin BD, Ripstein I, Sandham JD. Managing growth in medical education. JIAMSE 2010; 20 (2): 143-152. [Link]

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