There are many potential benefits to creatively using information technologies and networking among individuals and groups to implement professional education reform.
Here are some examples, to which we’ll be adding more, and invite suggestions.
Health Sciences Online [www.hso.info]: free authoritative health science resources from renowned institutions such as WHO, the World Bank, World Medical Association, and American College of Preventive Medicine.
OpenCourseWare [www.ocwconsortium.org]: started by MIT, a site where universities around the world share online their syllabi, lectures, assignments and examinations free for download.
SuperCourse, an open-source library of lectures on global public health and prevention from a network of over 65000 scientists in 174 countries who are sharing for free a library of 4700 lectures in 31 languages, produced at the WHO Collaborating Center University of Pittsburgh.
Education for Health eJournal, an open-access electronic journal to enhance international exchange of knowledge and information, launched by the Towards Unity for Health network (see below).
Training modules from the Towards Unity for Health network [www.the-networktufh.org/publications_resources/trainingmodules.asp]
[cnx.org], open source educational material, including science and technology.
Global Networking Efforts
Social accountability and accreditation: an interactive process to achieve global consensus on the role of accreditation to ensure social accountability of medical schools, advanced by Boelen and Woollard.
THEnet: Training for Health Equity Network [www.thenetcommunity.org], collaborating medical schools experiment with instructional and institutional innovations to attract, retain, and enhance the productivity of health professionals serving disadvantaged populations. THEnet schools are consistently scoring higher than average on national exams. See also: [could link to pdf of paper “Transforming Medical Education: Lessons Learned from THEnet” by Björg Pálsdóttir, André-Jacques Neusy.
The network: Towards Unity for Health [www.the-networktufh.org/home/], a global platform for health professionals and organizations committed to improving and maintaining health in communities.Their policy-based projects and case studies include rural internship programs (Brazil), promotion of healthy behaviors (Czech Republic), integrated participatory research (Kenya), family practice research in resource-poor settings (Greece, and international graduate programs on pharmacy (Canada).
Regional Networking Efforts
Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries [www.cplp.org], a network of national institutes of health, technical health schools, school of health and centers for specialized medical training that has developed a strategic plan to improve health systems in all affiliated countries.
Medical Education Partnership Initiative [www.fic.nih.gov/programs/training_grants/mepi], U.S. National Institutes of Health program, investing US$130 over five years to increase production of 140,000 African health care workers and transform African medical education. This is based on the success of the “twinning” programs that foster exchanges, share resources and undertake collaborative work.