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Inaugural Transform MedEd launches to great success

Published on: 09-Nov-2018


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Day 1: Inaugural Transform MedEd launches today

Today sees the start of the inaugural two-day Transform MedEd conference at LKCMedicine's Novena campus that registered more than 350 delegates from 15 countries. Jointly organised by LKCMedicine and Imperial College School of Medicine, this event gathers leading medical educators, healthcare professionals and medical students to discuss the future of medical education through plenary sessions, symposia, workshops, short comms and poster presentations.

Opening the conference, conference co-chairpersons Prof Naomi Low-Beer, LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Education, and Mr Martin Lupton, Vice-Dean for Education  said, 2018 "… is very special, both for LKCMedicine and Imperial College. It is the year that our first students graduated as doctors.  It is also special because this is the inaugural year of the Transform MedEd Conference, which will alternate between London and Singapore in the future."

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NTU President and Distinguished University Professor Subra Suresh expressed his support of the inaugural event in his welcome address, saying this innovative conference looking at how the Industrial Revolution 4.0 will impact the future of medical education and healthcare industry, without losing sight of patient-centred empathetic, compassionate care is timely. He said, "We have an opportunity to transform education – whether by choice or not – we should not let opportunities that come about because of crises or disruption go to waste, as Rahm Emanuel famously said. We need to ask ourselves, are our doctors sufficiently trained in probability statistics and in quantitative reasoning when technology forces us to be more quantitative; and what makes us human? We may not get definite answers at this conference but we can start the conversation."

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Imperial Vice-Provost (Education) Simone Buitendjik in her following speech, said, "Things are changing and this conference is proof of that. To get medical education right in this time of global challenges is more important than ever." Keynote speaker Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, Professor of Medicine and Education at the Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, aptly kicked off Day 1 of the conference with her provocative title "Time to ditch the textbook?"  She asked whether with the prevalence of online content, would textbooks still have a place in education. "Textbooks online are now interactive, so it's important to have one for curated content by experts. After that, you can take it further however you want to."

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The ensuing panel discussion that followed, anchored by Prof Dame Parveen with panelists Luke Kang Kwong Kapathy, Chair of School of Humanities, & Associate Dean (Research), College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Gideon Shimshon, Director, Digital Learning Hub at Imperial; and Adrian Freeman, Professor of Medical Education (E&S), University of Exeter Medical School; tackled questions such as the ownership of the textbook, the prevalent use of seniors' notes and improving students' diagnostic skills. In wrapping up the discussion, Prof Parveen concluded that the three most important points to her in the face of burgeoning medical knowledge is to be nimble, open-minded and "learn how to learn."


Plenary, symposiums, parallel sessions
The rest of the day breaks into plenaries, symposiums, workshops, poster presentations, and short communications sessions. All the sessions were well-attended, so much so that burning questions asked after various presentations threatened pleasantly to make speakers overrun their allotted time, especially during short communications where each speaker only had 10 minutes each.

With artificial intelligence and the Industrial Revolution 4.0 possibly challenging the standard modus operandi of medical education and disrupting healthcare, the short communications session on Immersive Learning in Medical Education and the symposium Artificial Intelligence in Medical Education were well received.

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Dinner and an anatomy mystery
The first busy but productive day of the inaugural Transform MedEd ended with a sit-down fully subsribed dinner reception in the Multipurpose Hall where LKCMedicine Dean Prof James Best gave a short welcome to the delegates, thanking the conference chairs LKCMedicine Vice-Dean (Education) Naomi Low-Beer and Imperial Vice-Dean (Education) and Head of the Undergraduate School of Medicine, as well as LKCMedicine Director of Communications and Outreach Siti Rohanah Koid, who heads the local organising committee, for their hard work.

Emeritus Professor of Clinical Anatomy at Warwick Medical School then proceeded to regale the delegates with his entertaining talk titled "The Tiger Bronzes of Michelangelo: an anatomical whodunnit" to much laughter and entertainment.

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Day 2: Transform MedEd ends on a high note

Delegates arrived in a highly anticipative mood early on day 2 having had a taste of the previous day's conference where the flow of fruitful discussion in all the plenaries, symposia, short communications and workshop sessions gave rise to much food for thought.

The second day's programme began with a panel discussion on "Transforming Healthcare Through Our Graduates" involving four more esteemed medical educators, moderated by A/Prof Nigel Tan, Deputy Group Director for Education, SingHealth.

Professor Dato Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Dean of Universiti Malaya's Faculty of Medicine talked about curricula change and the need to include technology, perhaps telemedicine and mHealth, but balanced that with saying, "We will find that as we use more technology, patients will expect more of doctor-patient relationships."

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Dr Dujeepa Samarasekera, Director, Centre for Medical Education at NUS Medicine talked about the need for faculty development for teaching transformation, "Engage, create systems and processes, give them support and due recognition for efficient, effective, empathetic, caring thinker-physicians to produce doctors likewise."

LKCMedicine A/Prof Josip Car, Director of Centre for Population Health Sciences talked about the technological gap. "The second most-searched topic online is health. In terms of giving the right information to patients – nowadays still in the form of pamphlets — electronic health record, data collection, video consultations and decision boards to help patients with managing their chronic disease, more can be done with the tech tools we have currently."

Imperial Vice-Provost for Education Prof Simone Buitendijk spoke about the importance of leadership, "Universities are not just about research but also about training the next generation of leaders. We need to develop a joint shared vision. Also, to ensure a healthy and happy faculty and students there is a need for empathy, duty of care, help and support and also, trust."

A few burning questions were taken from the floor covering the need for interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of data science and should faculty be teaching this generation of "tech natives".


Workshopping the day
Over these two days, a total of 10 workshops has taken place as part of parallel sessions. Workshops are opportunities for delegates to roll up their sleeves for some hands-on experiences at tackling under guidance from LKCMedicine and Imperial faculty, and visiting experts.

Two teaching tools that are part of the LKCMedicine curriculum form the basis of two of the workshops on day 2: Using Games in Medical Education and Putting the Patient in the Centre: Simulated Patient (SP)-based scenario writing for Realistic Portrayal. Both received great participation from delegates.

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The Games workshop was facilitated by Ms Ramani Saravanan from LKCMedicine, and Ms Giskin Day and Dr James Moss from Imperial. "Playing for Education encourages spontaneity, promotes engagement, increases creativity and allows for failure," said Ms Day. Delegates were divided into their groups by Ms Ramani via a medical-symptom acting game, then tested on their teamwork with a passing-objects game using forceps held in their non-dominant hand. Ms Day put the groups through an art and medical condition game where delegates had to think of creating a creative work based on a disease while Dr Moss got them to create games and evaluate those created by other groups.

The SP scenario writing session led by LKCMedicine Assistant Dean of Clinical Communication Training & Student Welfare Dr Tanya Tierney with Professor of Surgical Education, University of Melbourne and Professor of Simulation Education at Monash Debra Nestel; and LKCMedicine's Dr Diana Barron and SP Shen Ow got off to a strong start with a vigorous discussion on factors that add to realism as well as difficulties. The group then proceeded —  after various thoughts shared by the facilitators — to write their own SP scenario.


Swan song
The conference's last panel discussion revolved around the topic "The Medical Student Overseas: Who Benefits?" Moderated by LKCMedicine Dean Prof James Best, the panel comprising Prof Dame Kumar, LKCMedicine Assistant Dean for Year 5 A/Prof Tham Kum Ying, Imperial Professor of Public Health Helen Ward, LKCMedicine MedSoc OCIP head Mr Paras Bajaj – a Year 2 medical student – and Imperial Year 4 medical student Ms Li Yu Meng talked about the value, purpose and sustainability of medical students going overseas for community healthcare projects.

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Last hurrah
The inaugural Transform MedEd closed with a prize-giving ceremony for best posters and short communications. Congratulations to the winners!

Best posters
Gold: Arousing Situational Interest: Applications for TBL by Koh Jin Kiat, LKCMedicine
Silver: Exploring the Role of the Medical Student in the Clinical Setting by Andy Cheng, Imperial
Bronze: Educating Medical Students: Are We Doing It Right? By Rajeswari Kathirvel, KKH

Best short comms
Gold: Peer-teaching for Clinical Reasoning Training with HIFI Simulation by Jean-Paul Fournier, Nice-Sopia Antipolis
Silver: Twelve Tips for Using Humanities in Medical Education by Kathleen Leedham-Green, Imperial
Bronze: Dynamicanatomy, an Immersive and Interactive Hololens Application to Learn Anatomy from Your Own Body by Beerend Hierck, Leiden University Medical Center

The conference Co-Chairpersons Prof Low-Beer and Mr Lupton brought the conference to a close by thanking everyone who has worked on it. "With 393 registrations from 15 countries, 1 keynote, 4 plenaries, 4 symposia, 10 workshops; and 104 abstracts submitted with 54 selected for poster and 35 for oral comms presentations, the conference was a bigger success than we had imagined. Thank you to all who worked on this over the past year," said Prof Low-Beer.

"See you in spring, 2020!" quipped Mr Lupton.

For more pictures from the conference: click here for Day 1. Click here for Day 2.


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