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Educ Health (Abingdon). 2019 Jan-Apr;32(1):18-24. doi: 10.4103/efh.EfH_349_16.

Educational experiences in a master of health professions education program at the National Autonomous University of Mexico: A qualitative study.

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Coordination of Educational Development and Curricular Innovation, UNAM; UNAM Faculty of Medicine, Mexico City, Mexico.
UNAM Faculty of Medicine, Mexico City, Mexico.



Medical schools and healthcare institutions need leaders with formal training in education, in order to provide quality medical teaching. An answer to this need lies in the graduate programs of health professions education. Many programs exist, but there is a dearth of publications about their educational processes and experiences. The purpose of this study was to explore the teaching and learning experiences of students, teachers, and graduates of the Master in Health Professions Education (MHPE) program at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).


A qualitative approach was used with focus group discussions with students, graduates, and teachers, to explore their opinions, feelings, and experiences about the program. Purposeful sampling of participants was done. Focus group guides were developed for the different study groups; testimonies were codified and categorized with axial coding and a constant comparison method.


Testimonies from 19 participants in three focus groups were obtained (five graduates, seven current students, and seven teachers). The data were grouped in seven thematic categories: expectations, feedback of research projects, the tutorial process, teaching strategies, usefulness of what was learned, professional development, and assessment. Positive elements of the program were identified as well as areas in need of improvement.


The MHPE program at UNAM has been a positive experience for students and mostly fulfilled their expectations, they learned the basic theories and practical aspects of teaching, learning, and assessment in the health professions. Some areas need improvement, such as tutor performance and timely feedback to the students. Graduates think the competencies acquired in the program are useful for their professional practice. This information will be used to improve the program. There is a need to meet international standards in MHPE programs.


Focus groups; Master in Health Professions Education; medical education graduate programs; program evaluation

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