Dear Members of IAMSE, I hope that you are all doing well. This is a time of year when we traditionally take a few minutes out of our hectic lives to reflect upon all of the good things that bring us happiness and joy and give thanks for them.
Thus, on behalf of IAMSE, I wanted to thank all of you for your dedication, flexibility, and hard work, and to congratulate you for your many achievements during this particularly challenging year.
As President, I would like to recognize the efforts of the Officers, Board members, and all our Committees, who together with the incredible work of Julie Hewett and the JulNet staff, are the engine that drives IAMSE forward. As a result of everyone’s efforts and the continued engagement of our membership, IAMSE has not only survived 2020, but has thrived. As an association, we can celebrate a number of remarkable and exciting successes in 2020. I wanted to share several of these with you:
- Our membership has grown since the beginning of the year, while many other organizations have lost members, and financially we are in great shape.
- We successfully ran our first in-person meeting outside of our annual conference. The meeting, Integration in Medical and Health Science Education, was held in Kuala Lumpur in February.
- We successfully ran our first virtual annual conference in June. The conference, which included our first student-led plenary session, garnered an amazing 2,300 registrants and was very well received by attendees. Kudos to the Program Committee, who faced an extremely compressed timeline in which to design the meeting.
- We successfully ran our first stand-alone virtual workshops, the Basic and Advanced Reviewer workshops for Medical Science Educator and a student and new faculty version of the New Educator Scholars Training (NEST). Many thanks to our colleagues from ScholarRx for their work on the NEST workshop.
- We successfully launched the IAMSE Café in March. The Café was initiated as a way to help members stay connected during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its inception, the Café has been informative, entertaining, and well attended. Thus, we plan to keep the Café as an ongoing IAMSE program for the foreseeable future.
- We enhanced the IAMSE Fellowship Program with online mentoring groups and anticipate launching a fully online version of the Program (to complement our in-person version) in 2021.
- We are preparing to launch an online version of the ESME Course (to complement our in-person version) in 2021.
- Medical Science Educator had a record number of submissions and downloads in 2020! Consequently, IAMSE and Springer have decided to convert the journal from its current quarterly publication schedule to a bi-monthly publication schedule in 2021.
- Medical Science Educator also announced the establishment of its inaugural Distinguished Reviewer Panel.
- Our revitalized Manuals Program is being unveiled in early 2021 with the release of the first Springer editions of our two previous manuals. Two additional manuals are slated for publication later in 2021, and an additional four manuals are under development for 2022.
- The IAMSE Toolkit Program is successfully underway. More about this is coming in 2021!
- The IAMSE Ambassador Program is going well, with our Ambassadors working to promote IAMSE throughout the world in their home countries of Australia, China, Curaçao, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, and Pakistan.
- We have formalized, or are in the process of formalizing, new relationships with several educational groups from all over the world. Be on the lookout for some exciting announcements in 2021.
- We have successfully launched an Asian version of our Webcast Audio Seminar Program in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Biomedical Science Educators Association (APBSEA).
- The IAMSE EnGAGE Committee is moving forward with important diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice initiatives. More to follow in 2021.
IAMSE owes you all a great debt of gratitude. I consider it a privilege to be your President and I look forward to working with you as we continue our exciting path forward in the coming year. Please remain engaged with IAMSE and consider attending an upcoming Café session, a Webcast Audio Seminar session, the Virtual Annual Conference in June, or any of our other events happening throughout the year. Let us know if you would be interested in serving on one of our committees. Think about how IAMSE can best serve you in 2021.
Regardless of what holiday you celebrate or what traditions you follow, I wish you all the joy of the season and the very best for the coming year. Stay safe and well.