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Med Teach. 2018 Feb 28:1-8. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1442566. [Epub ahead of print]

Sharing stories about medical education in difficult circumstances: Conceptualizing issues, strategies, and solutions.

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a School of Medicine , Swansea University , Swansea , UK.
b Department of Medical Education, Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine , Bond University , Gold Coast , QLD , Australia.
c AMEE , Dundee , UK.
d Department of Nephrology, Hypertension and Kidney Transplantation , Medical University of Lodz , Lodz , Poland.



Global economic forces, political decisions, and natural disasters are only some of the factors that affect contemporary healthcare education. Given the centrality of health in all settings, the future of healthcare education depends on how we overcome these difficult circumstances.


Through a series of collaborative activities involving healthcare educators from around the world and their attempts to overcome these difficulties, the authors have developed a conceptual model centered around the people involved, the impact of culture, and organizations and systems.


The model can help to frame discussions and develop strategies about how best we, as a community of health professionals and educators, collaborate and share wisdom, experiences and resources to assist colleagues who might be struggling to deliver education. What has clearly emerged from this work is the centrality of leadership and management in effectively challenging and addressing difficult circumstances.


Contemporary health professions' education leadership needs to be inclusive, mindful, compassionate and caring; echoing and role-modeling how we expect our students to be with patients and colleagues. This means being willing to confront unacceptable behaviors and speak out and challenge authority when needed. It also requires awareness and understanding of the complex systems in which healthcare education is provided.

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