INMED2018 Annual Scientific Meeting

Brookfield Health Institute, University College Cork

7th – 9th February 2018


INMED 2018 was a great success with over 180 delegates from many health professions decending on the UCC campus for the three day affair. We would like to share some highlights with INMED members who did not make it to the conference this year or perhaps were only able to make it to a small part of the conference.

Spoilt for choice: postgraduate taught programmes on health professions education.
For the first time, we offered a full day of linked teacher development mini workshops during our preconference day. The day was organised as a collaboration between the new Masters in Health Professions Education programme at UCC, the new Masters in Medical Education programme at UL and the established Masters in Clinical Education programme at NUIG. A group of 22 participants were treated to a variety of excellent educational interventions offered by teachers from NUIG, UL and UCC. We hope to repeat this popular idea at INMED 2019.

Squeezing more from international experts!
We gained greatly from the generosity of Dorene Balmer (one of our external speakers) and Tim Dornan. Dorene offered a masterclass in qualitative research training using an innovative team based learning approach and Tim offered a workshop with Deirdre Bennett looking at how practitioners get involved in health professionals education and research. Commenced at INMED2017, this initiative invites one of our external speakers to lead a research workshop and we we will continue in this vein at INMED2019 in Galway next year. The idea of facilitating researchers in Irish institutions to interact with international experts is very much what INMED is about and we hope the delegates got a lot from this initiative.

Conceptualising trainer trainee relationships as a dance
One of our keynote presenters, Dorene Balmer shared findings from her work looking at how trainers and trainees negotiate leadership in bedside teaching/clinical supervision events. Essentially, they improvise, reading each other’s implicit and explicit communication. This is also underpinned by the phenomenon of entrustment. Entrustment is very much a vogue concept at the moment and essentially is about the degree to which a more experienced person can trust more junior person to do something with minimal or no supervision. Dorene described how trainees and trainers step up and step back almost implicitly as in a dance when in the presence of learners and patients. The entrustment dance is socially constructed, but how it is learned and how it is practised is being slowly revealed by her excellent work. The implication is that by understanding how we manage these implicit outside relationships will help us to enhance the quality of clinical training and entrustment in the future. Prof Balmers presentation to INMED is available here.

Competency-based education: be careful out there!
Pim Teunissen is an obstetrician/gynaecologist in Amsterdam and was recently also appointed as Professor of Workplace Learning at Maastricht University. He spoke about the increasing adoption of competency-based education frameworks in postgraduate and undergraduate training. He was keen to highlight some of its anomalies and certainties and in particular emphasised its emphasis on individual rather than collective competence. His work has demonstrated that clinical workplaces are complex networks of relationships and as such CBE needs to be adapted from its simplistic outcomes driven base toward a more complex and fluid curriculum design that incorporates the interpersonal nature of healthcare, the politics of the workplace and the customisation of care necessary for individual patients. Dr Teunissen’s presentation to INMED is available here.

A new clinical teachers charter!
Doctor Helen Hynes from UCC facilitated an excellent student led one hour session delivered to the entire conference in which the students presented us with a students and clinical teacher charter for clinical education. The charter contains many useful and important suggestions for student and supervisor behaviour in clinical settings. Helen is working with the students to develop the charter further and when ready, INMED plans to send the charter to the heads of School of all health professional undergraduate programs. We will also place the charter on our website.

Bullying in Irish hospitals
Jan Illing, Professor of medical education research at Newcastle University, UK, presented a comparative synthesis of data from bullying surveys in UK and Irish hospital settings. Whilst some of the metrics were different, there is still a clear impression that bullying is more prevalent in Irish hospital settings than in the UK. Bullying occurs at all levels, i.e. within teams, between different health professional disciplines and at an institutional level. Surprisingly most of the bullying is been carried out by senior junior doctors on more junior colleagues. Jan argued that much of this could be conceptualised as an indication of very junior doctors being ill-prepared for the rigours of the clinical workplace. She encouraged us to think hard about designing better preparatory strategies for undergraduates. She also noted that bullying is more common in disciplines characterised by interventional activities, e.g. surgery, obstetrics interventional radiology et cetera. Bullying is very much a product of the leadership style team, organisation or institutional level. To this end she has undertaken to work with Dr Eva Doherty at RCSI to produce a short document that we can share with the National College of Deans, the heads of undergraduate schools, the heads of postgraduate colleges and regulatory bodies such as the Medical Council. In facilitating the dissemination of this document, INMED would position itself as sharing ideas about best practice rather than attempting to influence practice more political perspective. Prof Illing’s presentation to INMED is available here.

INMED would like to sincerely thank Deirdre Bennett, Colette Spicer, the local INMED Organising Committee, the Medical Education Unit and the administrative team at the School of Medicine at UCC.

INMED 2019 will be at NUIG (February 2019 – dates will be confirmed on the INMED website shortly).

Please see the INMED2018 Book of Abstracts here.