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Can J Anaesth. 2015 Jan;62(1):11-21. doi: 10.1007/s12630-014-0252-4. Epub 2014 Nov 1.

Faculty experiences regarding a global partnership for anesthesia postgraduate training: a qualitative study.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L1, Canada,



Partnerships for postgraduate medical education between institutions in high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries are increasingly common models that can create capacity in human resources for health. Nevertheless, data are currently limited to guide the development of this kind of educational program.


We conducted semi-structured interviews with visiting and local faculty members in the externally supported University of Zambia Master of Medicine Anesthesia Program. Interviews were thematically analyzed with qualitative methodology.


Respondents spoke of differences in clinical practice, including resource limitations, organizational issues, presentation and comorbidities of patients, surgical techniques, and cultural issues relating to communication and teamwork. A key theme was communication amongst distributed visiting faculty. Infrequent face-to-face meetings jeopardized programmatic learning and the consistency of teaching and assessment. Co-learning was considered central to the development of a new program, as visiting faculty had to adapt to local challenges while establishing themselves as visiting experts. An ongoing challenge for faculty was determining when to adapt to the local context to facilitate patient care and when to insist on familiar standards of practice in order to advocate for patient safety.


As a new and evolving program, the findings from this study highlight challenges and opportunities for faculty as part of a partnership for postgraduate medical education. Since maintaining an effective faculty is essential to ensure the sustainability of any teaching program, this work may help other similar programs to anticipate and overcome potential challenges.

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