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Med Teach. 2002 May;24(3):261-7.

An international virtual medical school (IVIMEDS): the future for medical education?

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  • 1Centre for Medical Education, University of Dundee, UK.


The introduction of new learning technologies, the exponential growth of Internet usage and the advent of the World Wide Web have the potential of changing the face of higher education. There are also demands in medical education for greater globalization, for the development of a common core curriculum, for improving access to training, for more flexible and student-centred training programmes including programmes with multi-professional elements and for maintaining quality while increasing student numbers and working within financial constraints. An international virtual medical school (IVIMEDS) with a high-quality education programme embodying a hybrid model of a blended curriculum of innovative e-learning approaches and the best of traditional face-to-face teaching is one response to these challenges. Fifty leading international medical schools and institutions are participating in a feasibility study. This is exploring: innovative thinking and approaches to the new learning technologies including e-learning and virtual reality; new approaches to curriculum planning and mapping and advanced instructional design based on the use of 'reusable learning objects'; an international perspective on medical education which takes into account the trend to globalization; a flexible curriculum which meets the needs of different students and has the potential of increasing access to medicine.

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