On 12 July 2023, Prof Vishna Devi Nadarajah, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Development and International at the International Medical University (IMU), was honoured with the prestigious ASME Gold Medal 2023. The award ceremony took place at the ASME Annual Scholarship Meeting 2023 in Birmingham, United Kingdom, where Prof Sandra Nicholson, Past Chair of ASME Board of Directors and Current Executive Board, presented the esteemed medal.
The Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Gold Medal is bestowed upon individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the field of medical education on a global scale. Prof Vishna Devi Nadarajah is the second Asian to receive this esteemed accolade. The only other Asian to have achieved this distinction thus far is Dr Mei Ling Young, who co-founded IMU. Prof Vishna’s recognition further underscores the exceptional contributions of Asian women to the field of medical education.
Commenting on receiving the award, Prof Vishna said, “It’s indeed an honour to receive this international award from esteemed medical education peers. I am so thankful to my family and colleagues especially in International Medical University and Southeast Asia as this award is a win for our hard work, joint efforts and collaborative spirit as we continue to advocate for medical education globally.”
At the same event, Prof Vishna Devi Nadarajah also delivered a thought-provoking plenary speech. Her presentation revolved around the topic of ‘Diversity and Inclusion in Health Professions Education: A Lens into the Global South.’ The speech specifically addresses the inequitable knowledge structures in medical and health professions education research, whereby most of the scholarly output is titled towards the Global North. By examining the influence of colonialism, recent socio-political changes, technological advancements and global healthcare needs, she presented the benefit of multidirectional collaboration across countries as opposed to the trickle-down science effect from Global North to Global South countries.
“To close the gap in inequities in medical and health professions scholarship, we (as a community of educators) need to acknowledge and value the diverse global narratives in medical and health professions education, be willing to learn from others who are less privileged and collaborate to build and not borrow capacity,” said Prof Vishna.
Prof Vishna started her journey with the IMU in 1999 as a Lecturer of Human Biology with the School of Medicine. She has since taken the roles of Dean of Learning ad Teaching (2014-2017), Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education (2018-2019), Pro Vice-Chancellor, Institutional Development and International (2020-2022) and, is currently, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Institutional Development and International. Over the years, her contributions included strategic development of new and existing academic programmes, growth and diversification of international partnerships, enhancement educational activities via technology enhancing learning, talent and continuous professional development. She has also contributed to scholarship and research in medical and health professions education globally.
ASME was established in 1957 by the General Medical Council (GMC) to promote and conduct research into medical education. This association holds regular events and workshops, including flagship Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) and Researching Medical Education (RME).
Congratulations to Prof Vishna on this outstanding achievement.
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