Education WP at the Asia Pacific conference

Prof Val Wass, Chair of the WONCA Working Party on Education reports on the groups' activities at the recent WONCA Asia Pacific region conference.

We thank WONCA Asia Pacific for the excellent opportunity to offer workshops at the Pattaya conference. My colleagues Professor Nobutaro Ban (Japan), Dr Eva Irene Maglonzo (Philippines), Victor Ng (Canada), Hashmet Parveen (Brunei) and Chandramani Thuraisingham (Malaysia) joined me to run sessions on (i) The Undergraduate (UG)Curriculum (ii) Continuous Professional Development and (iii) Formative Assessment. I was also delighted to join the WONCA Working Party on Women and Family Medicine (FM) for a workshop on “Role Modelling to promote FM in medical school”.

As Michael Kidd argued passionately and cogently in his keynote speech on achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), it is essential we work to raise the status of FM. We need to form stronger partnerships, particularly with secondary care, to bridge misunderstanding and professional denigration at this interface. I personally believe we must also work across the continuum of education (undergraduate/postgraduate/CPD), link across WONCA networks and become strong advocates for evidence based educational practice.

WONCA offers an excellent platform to do this. I have indicated to the WONCA Executive that WWPE will now consult to work with WWPE members to develop guidelines and standards to support the development of FM orientated UG curricula. We must engage medical students and our young doctors in the process. The role modelling workshop highlighted that there needs to be greater public and stakeholder understanding of what we do and of the complexity of our roles. We need this to recruit the brightest and best role models to move FM and UHC forward. The conference reinforced for me the importance of thinking strategically across the WONCA networks to achieve this. Thank you.

Don't forget free article access in Education for Primary care: We offer free access this month to an interesting paper  from GKT medical school in London UK; “Health promotion in medical education: lessons from a major undergraduate curriculum implementation.” The authors describe the challenges of introducing social determinants of health into the Family Medicine undergraduate curriculum. It offers valuable insights into the motivations, experiences and frustrations of students and educators in a spiral health promotion curriculum as it matures over three years. Strategies to support medical educators in building more effective, sustainable and acceptable solutions are explored.

Val Wass OBE