Working Party on Education Annual Report

Val Wass OBE, Chair, WONCA Working Party on Education provides a report on the working party activities over the past year.

“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”

1: Background:

The WWPE is as an open group aiming to develop a vibrant, interactive and supportive network of educationalists across the globe. To deliver Universal Health Care and progress Family Medicine (FM) in middle or low-income countries, it is increasingly apparent that as populations’ needs change and doctors work more with middle level health workers, Western models of medical education may not be appropriate. It is imperative WWPE maximise the potential of collaborative work within WONCA to share resource and catalyse change.

2: Objectives 2017-2018:
Over the past year my main objectives as chair have been to
2(i) Expand the working group to include more countries and encourage engagement
2(ii) Engage WWPE members in delivering education workshops at WONCA events
2(iii) Work to collaborate with other WONCA networks and not function in a silo
2(iv) Raise the status of FM and develop standards for undergraduate education
2(v) Develop a vibrant WWPE group of students and trainees
2(vi) Expand resources on the website and keep postgraduate and CPD standards updated

3: Progress against objectives:
Working group membership
3(i) Expand the working group: We have increased membership from 99 to 132 members and representation by 10 countries to 55. The website works well. I aim for 2-3 monthly updates to members. Subsequent “conversation” is relatively low but engagement in tasks is relatively good. A google group as with the rural working party may be an option.
3(ii) Delivering workshops: This is proving effective. Members supported the delivery of four workshops in Pattaya (one with the WP on women and FM), two in Delhi both with WP rural members and 3 WWPE in Krakow and an additional three with EURACT and EURIPA.
3(iii) Collaborating across WWPE networks: Conference collaboration is proving successful. We are engaging with the Mental Health working party and EACH (International Association for Communication in Health Care) in Seoul. A collaborative series on education for migrant health with Chris Dowrick and Maria.vandenMuijsenbergh has lost steam and needs reenergising.
3(iv) UG curriculum: A working group is preparing for a preconference day in Seoul to focus on this. It will be interesting and challenging as emergent views support the integration of FM across the curriculum rather than a defined FM attachment. We are en route!
3(v) Medical student and trainee engagement: This has not progressed. I am awaiting a reply from Ifmsa to recruit students to attend the Seoul preconference on the UG curriculum. I will also explore a google group with them.
3(vi) Web site resources: There is a clear need for this. Affiliation with Education for Primary Care has strengthened. The monthly free paper access is well advertised- thank you. Two WONCA members are joining the EPC Board. Victor Ng and Raquel Gomez Bravo.

4: Setting objectives for 2018-19
I need to discuss with the working party members:
Emerging priorities are:
4(i) Developing guidelines and standards for medical schools
4(ii) Student and trainee engagement
4(iii) Website resources: updating current ones and meeting members needs

I thank the President, Chief Executive and the Executive Committee for their ongoing support which is much appreciated and Karen Flegg for her unstinting help with the website and news dissemination.