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Transformative Learning in Global Health: Initiatives in the Netherlands

Two hundred and fifty leaders in medical education in the Netherlands organized a one-day conference on April 4, 2013. Their mission was to chart the future of health professional education reforms highlighting the Lancet Commission Report as the benchmark for deliberation. The conference, held at the Amsterdam Free University Medical Center, was opened with keynote addresses by CMB President Lincoln Chen and Maastrich Medical School Dean Albert Scherpbier. The event marked the successful accreditation of all eight medical schools in the Netherlands, which is pioneering many innovations—competency-based, IT-facilitated, team-based transformative learning for leadership development.

Unique was a follow-up consultation on April 5 to carry forward educational reform in the rapidly growing field of global health. Hosted by Professor Joep Lange of the Global Health Institute of Amsterdam University Medical Center and moderated by Dr. Ok Pannenborg, formerly of the World Bank, the 10-member group examined the knowledge base of global health, recent pedagogic innovations for excellence, and how to pursue transformative learning for global health leadership. These three themes were suggested by Dr. Tim Evans of BRAC Bangladesh and Dr. Lincoln Chen of CMB. Dutch participants agreed to reconvene as a network of global health partnership for advancing leadership by starting in the Netherlands with mass open online courses (MOOCs) in global health education. Rotterdam offered to host a follow-up working meeting to pursue implementation.