Educational Innovations at St George’s University Showcased at IAMSE International Conference

Educational Innovations at St George’s University Showcased at IAMSE International Conference

Drs. Shivayogi and Bharti Bhusnurmath will be presenting three papers at the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) International Conference from June 7-10 in Nashville, Tennessee. Directed by medical faculty, this nonprofit professional development society provides opportunities to enhance excellence and innovations in teaching, student and program assessment, computer technology, human simulation, and learner-centered education.

The first of three papers presented by Drs. Bhusnurmath will focus on the unique advances in curriculum development at St. George’s University, particularly the advantages of using concept maps as a teaching and evaluation tool.

bharti-bhus-mar“We introduced concept maps to the pathology course in 2002 and it has been a huge success,” said Dr. Shivayogi Bhusnurmath, Chair of the Department of Pathology at SGU. “Pathology is one of the first courses in medical school where students have to learn to think; conceptualize the information covered in basic sciences like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and apply it to patient scenarios. While memorization may work for other courses it is not necessarily the case with pathology, as they must understand the correlation between the sciences. The use of concept maps has allowed our students to learn better in an integrative way.”

The second paper discusses a unique technique developed to teach pathology images to the students through active learning, while providing the students with the opportunity to practice communication skills and professional behavior through extensive small group sessions in the lab. Dr. Bhusnurmath stated, “It takes a sustained effort to encourage students to switch to active learning and wean them from passive learning, but once the students grasp the concept, they love it.

Their final paper describes a technique designed to teach and evaluate professional behavior among students. A list of learning objectives related to professional behavior and communication skills pertinent to every doctor is developed, with each basic science course allocating a percentage of the course grade to these attributes. Students are scored based on the observations and evaluations of trained clinical tutors.

“St. George’s University has done a lot to reinforce positive professional behavior and communication skills among the students to make them better doctors,” stated Dr. Bhusnurmath.

With members in over 40 countries, including basic science and clinical medical faculty, IAMSE advocates to advance health professions education through teacher development, and to ensure that the teaching and learning of medical science continues to be firmly grounded in foundational sciences, and the best practices of teaching.

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