WONCA Webinar on Education and Training during COVID-19

Prof Val Wass, chair WONCA Working Party on Education reports:

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”― Albert Einstein

The WONCA Working Party on Education thanks WONCA World for hosting a Working Party on Education webinar. It provided an international platform to explore the impact of COVID-19 on Education and Training.

The webinar can be viewed below:

Presentations looked at issues across the continuum of education; undergraduate, postgraduate and continuous professional development. Common global themes emerged:

The learner: Covid-19 brings fear, uncertainty, risk to safety, a rapid need for new knowledge and often redeployment into new roles of an unpredictable duration.

The teacher: Faces similar fears and anxieties and a sudden need to replace clinical placements using virtual environments and new technologies for both training and assessment.
We learnt:

Yes: There is an urgent need to change thinking on how to work on virtual platforms. We must collate and share experience building an evidence base repository; acknowledging the constraints of low resource settings.

But: Many issues of our current thinking should not be lost. The fears and anxieties compound the learners’ needs: We must still:
• Be explicit about the purpose of teaching
• Focus on what the learner needs
• Remember a human face and voice are powerful
• Acknowledge both learners and teachers are under stress. Both need support.

What next? WWPE will work to answer the questions raised and develop shared resources. In the meantime, these platforms may help:

WHO: has a new interactive, web-based, knowledge-transfer platform

EURACT: Is planning two studies on the impact of COVID-19 on Family Doctors.

The International Association for Communication in Health care (EACH) has a COVID-19 resource page on health care communication teaching.

AMEE has helpful webinars

Pedagogical and practical tips for online conversion during COVID

The webinar confirmed the importance of sharing our global resources. As our Present Donald Li said in this conclusion. “May we all proceed with wisdom and grace”.