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Innovation in Health Professional Education in Thailand

How should a country canvass and spark innovations and leadership in health professional education?  This was the purpose of a Leadership Forum on Health Professional Education Development, held in Krabi, Thailand on April 22-24. The Forum brought together 30 Thai participants to examine 10 innovative projects that had been selected as finalists through an open and competitive process. Organized by an outstanding team of Thai reform leaders—Mahidol University Professor Vicharn and Vice President Wanicha, Khon Kaen medical Dean Pisake, and Ministry of Health director Dr. Suwit, the Forum was attended by CMB President Lincoln Chen who offered a few opening remarks.

The Thai initiative is premised upon the assumption that many creative innovations are in existence but means must be found to identify and support them. A range of innovative projects from many health-related faculties were thus presented. The projects came from schools of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, public health, and dentistry addressing such diverse subjects as humanizing pharmacy practice, community-based pediatrics, leadership development, role of the “model teacher,” reflective learning, nursing competencies in electronic records, rural public health education and practice, applied, pre-clinical knowledge (APK), early clinical exposure, transformative learning for empathy, and joint nursing venture for nurse practitioners. Most of the 10 projects focused on reform of instructional design, with a strong emphasis on professionalism, rural service, and inter-professional education.

Thai leaders in Krabi agreed that innovative projects will continue to be promoted through a rotating seminar series. The Forum concluded with a presentation by a staff member of Apple-Thailand who presented new IT based learning modules on iTunes University. In addition to specific innovation projects, there was also a lively discussion about the huge potentiality of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in Thailand.

For more information about health professional education in Thailand, please see the Health Professionals 21 Thailand website.