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Connecting Virtually with Global Educators of Healthcare Professions at IMU’s 14th IMEC

23 Mar 2021

The International Medical Education Conference (IMEC) is a forum for forging and renewing friendships between educators of healthcare professions from the region and beyond. It is a platform to exchange ideas and experience as well as to showcase innovations. 2021 is the first occasion when this conference went online due to the restrictions in movement caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. The conference theme this year was ‘Setting the New Norm: Current and Future Practice for Health Professions Education’, inspired by the global efforts toward innovations in health professions education during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s IMEC involved many months of planning by the Organising Committee and the construction of a virtual website by IMU’s own e-learning and marketing staff. The conference was attended by about 300 participants from 25 countries including Malaysia, Singapore, USA, UK, Canada, Cambodia, Qatar, UAE, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, India, Taiwan, Oman, Sri Lanka, Japan, Germany and Australia. The Organising Committee was also grateful for the sponsorship from 10 renowned companies i.e., AMBOSS, Lecturio, Elsevier, BMJ, Ideal Consortium, Indizium, Insan Scientifik, EBSCO. Leeds Dynamic and MSIG. The conference started on 12 March with 12 pre-conference workshops covering a variety of topics, facilitated by 15 international and 16 local academics. The topics included e-learning hands on activities on constructing micro-learning videos, instructional design in blended learning, reliability measures in clinical assessment, effective facilitation of learners virtually, development of workplace-based clinical portfolio, mindfulness and meta-cognition. debriefing and reflection practice in simulation exercises, effective communication in multicultural healthcare environment and health data analytics.

On Day 1 of main conference, following the welcome and opening speeches by Prof Vishna (Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education & Institutional Development) and Prof Aziz Baba (Vice Chancellor & CEO, IMU Education), Prof Ronald Harden gave a stimulating keynote address on ‘New Norm and Changing Role of Students’.

This was followed by the plenary on “Enhancing Inclusivity and Diversity into the New Norm” by three distinguished speakers Muhamad Saiful Bahri (Malaysia), Mohamed Al Eraky (Saudi Arabia) and Kevin Eva (Canada).

The other notable symposia and plenaries were:
Setting New Norms – Deans Perspective Suttipong Wacharasindhu (Thailand), Annemarie Hennessy (Australia) and Lubna Baig (Pakistan)
Informing Robust Decisions from Workplace-based Assessment Tim Wilkinson (New Zealand)
Anatomy of Mentoring Relationships: It Takes Two to Tango Subha Ramani (USA)
Assessment in New Norm Elizabeth Kachur(USA), Bunmi Aduli (Australia) and Ardi Findyartini (Indonesia)
Telemedicine: The Way Forward Ian Symonds (Australia), Nazimah Idris (IMU), Raymond Choy (DOC2US)
Faculty Development and Evaluation Norul Hidayah (IMU), Wong Pei Se (IMU), Rashmi Kuruskar (India)

The conference ended with a plenary on Rethinking Health Profession Education- Dujeepa Samarasekera (Singapore), Chris Roberts (Australia) Viktoria Joynes(UK). IMEC 2021 had received abstracts from all around the regions with 5 out of 22 abstracts shortlisted for IMU-RHIME awards and 62 abstracts were shortlisted for Oral and e-poster presentations. The presentations were judged by both local and international judges.

The IMU‐Ron Harden Innovation in Medical Education (IMU-RHIME) Award for Best Innovation Presentation 
Nurhanis Syazni Rozlan Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

Three Best Oral Presentations Awards
Seow Liang Lin International Medical University, Malaysia
Lydia Trendall Newcastle University Malaysia
Swarna YM International Medical University, Malaysia

Three Best e-poster Presentations Awards
Lyndall Parker-Newlyn Wollongong University, Australia
Erum Khan Azman University College, UAE
Malanashita G International Medical University, Malaysia

The conference committee received many encouraging feedbacks on the smooth conduct and arrangement of the virtual conference. The participants were appreciative of the session topics and sharing of experience by the prominent speakers on the adaptation as well as teaching and learning strategies adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable the continuation of health professions education. They also had the opportunities to interact and engage with each other and the speakers through the virtual meeting rooms.

The success of the conference was attributed to the team effort and dedication of the faculty and professional staff from various departments in IMU, speakers as well as the sponsors. In addition, the conference committee is extremely impressed with the student volunteers having demonstrated their utmost professionalism and leadership in making sure a great virtual conference experience for all the participants. Staff members from IMU Centre for Education (ICE), IMU Centre for Lifelong Learning (ICL), Marketing Department, e-Learning Department, and IT Department contributed extensively to making the conference a success.

Prepared by A/Prof Nilesh Kumar Mitra on behalf of 14th IMEC’s Scientific Committee

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