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IMEC: Malaysia as Proud Host for Medical Education Meet Up

25 Apr 2017

~Unprecedented response with over 360 delegates from 38 countries~


Kuala Lumpur, 19 April 2017 – International Medical University (IMU) recently concluded its 12th International Medical Education Conference (IMEC) that was the annual platform and a forum to exchange ideas and experience and to showcase innovations in the healthcare education industry. The annual conference had received unprecedented response for its 12th installment with over 360 delegates from 38 countries.


This year’s theme was “Health Professions Education without Borders” and throughout the 3-day conference, delegates were served a series of plenary sessions, symposiums, and workshops that discussed how borders and being borderless education impact the training of future healthcare professions while exploring the liberalisation/democratisation of values, regulations, cultural norms and standardisation of education outcomes that ultimately shape the healthcare industry standard.


YB Datuk Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching, Deputy Minister of Higher Education Malaysia opened the conference proper on the 2nd day, which is the main conference day, and highlighted that IMEC’s discussion, on online learning in particular, is in line with Malaysia’s Higher Education Blueprint (2015-2025) that focuses on globalised online learning. She also stated that the country aspires to be a premier education hub. “Online learning and borderless learning will introduce unbundling of courses and courseware. This can allow the best institutions to provide the best experience for the learners. The future of learning will be less dependent on knowledge, but on mentoring, coaching, counselling, and advising the learners,” she said in her speech. “This together with big data analytics, will provide information on how institutions, employers and the ministry to provide the correct manpower requirements at the right time and with the right support.”


Following the opening address, Ronald Harden, Emeritus Professor of Medical Education, University of Dundee delivered the keynote address that challenges the current perception of the medical education approach titled “Unsustainable, Impractical, Ineffective and Unacceptable – Criticism of the current state of medical education or of plans for a radical future change?”


Harden, who also played a pivotal role in the establishment of IMU back in 1999, said after his address, “IMEC is a very important international meeting in medical education. These are exciting times in medical education but to keep up-to-date, I think schools no longer should be working in isolation. This is an international world we are living in, and students should have the chance to benefit from the best of the teaching and not just one school, but several schools. And not simply to be able to go into one school.”


He further urged schools to not limit the learners’ choice but to provide more courses together in delivering a programme and that people can choose elements of it. The three day conference started with 8 pre-conference workshops that covered areas on preceptor training, English Proficiency tools for selection and admission, designing for online learning, trends, innovations and practicalities in health professions education postgraduate training, the International Association For Medical Education (AMEE) ASPIRE Standards, research networking sans borders in health professions education, mobile learning in health professions education, and entrustable professional activities.



There were five plenaries featuring Dr Mei Ling Young, co-founder of IMU, who revisited the 25 years of the International Medical University; YBhg Datuk Prof Dr Asma Ismail, Vice-Chancellor of the Universiti of Sains Malaysia (USM), who addressed the year’s theme in details “Higher Education Without Borders”; Mohamed Amin Embi, who gave keen insights into the benefits of Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC adds to the education landscape; Jim McKillop from the United Kingdom (UK) who spoke about the issues and consequences from the migration of health professionals across the world.


Prof Trudie Roberts delivered the final plenary featuring a topic on assuring patient safety and professional competence in a workspace where cultural makeups have grown more diverse than before. Roberts offered a word of advice to organisation that have new people under their wing. “The most important thing is when people start a new role, the organisation need to respect the fact that he/she is new, and they need to have inculturation. So we think that there is a period of time called critically intense learning period where the organisation needs to help, support the new person because it’s in all our interest for our new doctors, or dentists, or veterinarian scientists to be successful.”


Prof Vishna Devi Nadarajah from IMU also illustrated the different models of health professions education partnerships which IMU adopts that is unprecedented in the field of medical education in Malaysia in a symposium.


On the final day, there was a debate between faculty and students that touched on the topic being artificial intelligence can replace health professionals where, predictably, the winning argument is that artificial intelligence cannot replace healthcare professionals.



The Ron Harden Innovation in Medical Education (IMU-RHIME) award was won by Prashanti Eachempati, Sumanth KN and Abdul Rashid Haji Ismail from Melaka Manipal Medical College with a paper entitled “Balancing the Balance Sheet – An Innovative Technique to Teach Entrepreneur Skills to Dental Students.”


The event registered close to 50 students from other institutions including Universiti Sains Malaysia, Chulalongkorn University, Newcastle University Malaysia, Universitas Indonesia, Khon Kaen University, Universiti Putra Malaysia, and the University of Western Australia, just to name a few.


The 13th IMEC is scheduled to take place on 13-15 April 2018 and the theme will be “From Personalised Learning to Mastery of Competencies: Impact of Technology and Simulation on Health Professionals”.


Read more about the 12th IMEC at HARDEN’S BLOG: 12th IMEC, Access to closed-access publications and more

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