Communications in Medical Education, 1971
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communication in medical education methods of international communication the working group has considered communication both internal and external to a medical education setting the foregoing discussions illustrate the diversity which exists on a country-to-country basis the incomparability is due to variations in governmental organization academic structure the emphasis within medical education on research teaching and practice and socio/economic factors thus there are national problems which are unique to the milieu but there are those which are shared by all of us and differ not in kind but in degree these relate to resources manpower and technology in contrast to these many problems we all share in the commonality of some fundamental goals namely: improved quality of medical education increased health manpower improved health care we cannot solve all national problems simply by moving their discussion to the macro scale of internationalism however an inter national impetus can often stimulate action within a country consistent with its national policy therefore my thesis is that we can each progress toward our common goals by using new communications and educational technology accordingly i believe that international communication in medical education should be based on a sharing of those entities vihich are universal in character they are:

Page  2 page 2 1 the basic principles substance or content of medicine for health care 2 techniques of communication and information transfer from teachers to students and 3 development of new materials for self-paced learning and continuing self-education the success of such an endeavor will be dependent on 1 manpower with the combined perspective of a physician educator and a ccommunicator the need for teachers who know how to use newer educational technology 2 the active functioning of modern medical libraries in support of medical education the use of computer and other technologies to deliver bibliographies documents and other materials 3 identification of core curriculum or accepted units of medical information 4 the development of multimedia models for education which can be applied and uniquely directed toward meeting national or regional needs 5 compatibility of equipment used as teaching and learning resources the substance of medicine is contained within the world's medical literature this literature is valuable only when there is subject access to it this is the fundamental concept of our computer-based information system medlars which is shared internationally with who and several countries represented here information can re garnered from the literature, evaluated and repackaged in both print and non-print media for the user we consider

Page  3 page 3 non-print media to include motion pictures videotapes film strips slide sets audiotapes video playback systems teaching models and simulation equipment and computer-assisted instruction we believe that a modern medical library should now have the function of acquiring and disseminating information in any of these forms consistent with the needs of its users thus one can define the responsibility of a library appropriate to its setting and level of activity for example a national library such as i represent a library within the academic medical setting for undergraduate and post-graduate education and a library within a hospital as an instrument for continuing education we have been trying within the u.s to bring these different operating elements together in a network relationship so that we may share resources to improve information services to the health professional this involves not only library to library interaction but federal regional and local relationships to improve medical research education and practice these concepts have been described recently in a publication by the a.a.m.c under the title educational technology for medicine i am sure that many a debate on methods and principles of medical education could simply be moved across borders translated into the other courtry's idiom and it would bear no trace of an external origin let me therefore describe some of the trends in my country which may be comparable to your experiences and from which we can develop further discussion and hopefully a pattern for interrsational cooperation in biomedical communications the issues center on the need to produce more and better trained physicians and allied health personnel to respond to current and future needs slnce few academic health centers contain

Page  4 page 4 contain competence in all fields i believe the development and use of educational technology can hasten the achievement of these goals interest in educational technology in the u.s has been demonstrated within the last decade by the establishment of departments of research in medical education and departments of learning resources the effort to increase the number of physicians produced each year has stimulated a number of different practices such as shortening the time spent in medical school adding new dimensions to the curricula including more use of elective courses early selection of areas of emphasis vis-a-vis the practitioner the researcher and the educator and utilizing multimedia resources to improve and accelerate the learning processes non print media have captured the interest of a number of teachers and institutions their value as teaching tools is under assessment in order to determine if such techniques of communication make learning easier it has been estimated that in the u.s there may be 10 million non-print media items unfortunately they are of uneven quality these have for the most part been developed independently for immediate and local needs screening and evaluating these materials for broader utilization would probably produce a data base of 50,0000 items with ultimate multiple use of only 20,000 of very high quality i cite these figures not as an absolute but to demonstrate the order of magnitude of time effort and resources consumed imagine the savings to be gained professionally and economically by the cooperative production and utilization of materials we are now doing this with groups of medical schools and selected professional societies we are becoming more conscious of resource sharing and i can give you subsequently some excellent examples

Page  5 page 5 involving the cooperation of medical educators professional specialty groups communicators and our national library of medicine hopefully this will lead to identifying basic information needs for core curricula and compatibility of formats and equipment the steps are 1 knowing what exists 2 evaluation of existing materials by peer groups 3 development of needed new materials 4 providing a subject access for easy availability and use of material 5 teaching the teacher and the learner how to use these materials i suggest that these steps are appropriate at not only the national but at a regional or international level i was especially interested to review the bibliography prepared as background for this meeting of the 2300 journals indexed for medlars only nine are devoted primarily to medical education activity in medical education new techniques educational objectives curricula teaching methods and evaluation are however not reported exclusively in medical education journals but are scattered within 100 specialty journals usually availbale solely within a country thus there is a scattering of information both in terms of journals and national use this is not conducive to easy information or resource sharing in my country we are developing a national biomedical communications network to serve the needs of medical education the organization and apparatus for this has been provided by our congress through the national library of medicine , there is a need for an international function or organization which could consider the following priorities 1 acquisition cataloging and dissemination of basic educational materials 2 standardization of media materials and equipment

Page  6 page 6 3 resource sharing through networking 2-way audio 2-way video communications satellites computed terminals it seems reasonable to me that the world health organization provide a leadership role in coordinating such developments if it does not assume these functions aggressively i would then suggest that consideration be given to the creation of a new international forum devoted exclusively to the problems of regional medical education this body might sponsor international publications including critical reviews on the subject international meetings and conferences and the exchange of teachers as well as students it should maintain an information and multimedia clearing house from such an organizational framework i would expect functional resource sharing to develop the educational process in medicine is time consuming at expensive we should be able to find means to reduce both without loss of quality or national personality