Healthcare providers are vital to the health of the nation and society. The rapidly changing health landscape demands health professionals to be prepared and equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills by health professions educators. It is therefore vital for health professions educators to help learners realize their true potential as caring and competent professionals, create opportunities for personal and professional growth, contribute to their institutions/organizations, and address national priorities. The educators must equally prepare and equip learners with the skills required for continuing professional education and interprofessional collaboration.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has necessitated changes in the design and delivery of health professions education to meet the training of healthcare professionals. These have required changes in the training processes of health professions educators in educating the healthcare professionals of tomorrow. The understanding of the principles of education and of adult learning amid the looming crisis helps an educator succeed in this important task.
Henceforth, Postgraduate (PG) Programmes in Health Professions Education (HPE) offered by International Medical University (IMU) are designed to meet the needs and train the 21st century health professions educators. The programmes enable learners to develop an in-depth understanding of educational theories, principles, and values in relation to the contemporary learning environment and assessment, helps in drafting and reviewing an outcome-based curriculum and developing professional managerial qualities. It opens new career opportunities and equips healthcare professionals with enhanced skills to conduct health professions education research.
“The PGHPE programme has added meaning to my career as an educator. Having taught pre-university programmes for many years, I am now able to apply what I learnt in PGHPE in my classroom. Being a Senior Lecturer in the Foundation in Science programme in IMU which aims to prepare students for their tertiary education in medical, pharmacy and health sciences programmes, the Health Professions Education has enabled me to teach in a more focused manner in preparing my students for their tertiary studies in health sciences. From the preparation of the curriculum to the teaching and learning activities to assessments, the PGHPE has prepared me well.”
First student to graduate with the Masters in HPE, Sharon Chan Min Hui
To accommodate the gradual accumulation and skills as health professions educators, the programmes offer multiple exit opportunities, allowing learners to graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and/or Master in Health Professions Education. Each programme phase offers personalised education with blended learning together with social and professional interaction with well-trained health professions educators locally and internationally. It trains healthcare professionals in modern contextual health professions education to be creative, agile and stay resilient during challenging learning situations such as current Covid-19 crisis.
“I find the discussions very thought provoking and I am able to learn from the lecturer’s expertise as well as from the other students. The programme has provided me with insight into instructional and curriculum design and helped me to improve my teaching. I feel I am able to contribute more to my department and to the University. I am really glad for having taken up this programme and look forward to applying what I have learnt”
Katarzyna Pazcek MHPE Student.
Furthermore, the Postgraduate Certificate in HPE is offered through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode to provide flexibility to learners who opt to work throughout the programme, at their own pace and able to access learning materials anytime and from anywhere.
In addition, a teaser to the IMU Postgraduate Programmes in Health Professions Education is made available through a Microcredential course on Roles and Needs of 21st Century Health Professions Educators, which will be launched in July 2022.
The university with extensive on site and online learning resources and facilities supports the learning experience under the current COVID-19 pandemic, allowing learners to engage in learning sessions in multiple modalities. It also provides learners with the platforms to creatively utilise the available resources and offer high quality programmes.
IMU also offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in diverse healthcare disciplines and the perspectives and experiences of these educators (many of whom are involved in different roles in the HPE programme) contributes to the richness and diversity to the learning of the health professions educator.