The Basic Science Education Forum (BSEF) had its humble beginnings in the simple idea that teaching the sciences fundamental to the practice of medicine should be equally important as the pursuit of our individual research. Indeed, that we as basic taking action have a positive impact on the course of a rapidly evolving medical curriculum. By teaching graduate students we replicate ourselves and ensure the continuance of the discovery of new knowledge. But by teaching medical students, we have the opportunity to influence the very foundation of our health care system.
I believe it is the magnitude of our double teaching charge which drives our collective desire to pool knowledge, resources and ideas to more effectively influence the course of medical education. The tasks we have attempted are formidable. Although our BSEF Directory of Colleagues now lists 312 participants, we are still a minority. Our goal is to ensure that we are a creative and productive minority.
This newsletter (John Curry, Editor) was designed to be one instrument of that creativity. In this first issue of what will become a semi-annual (Summer/Winter) publication, I wish to introduce the sections which you may expect to see. Beginning with this issue, regular features will include News and Views from the Regions, to keep us apprised of what our four regional BSEF chapters are doing; Current BSEF Projects, with calls for volunteers; and Announcements of both Regional and National interest relating to the teaching of basic sciences.
An important feature I wish to see develop is the use of this medium to exchange ideas, techniques, and projects-in-progress related to the teaching of basic sciences. To begin, we will pattern this section of Innovations in Basic Science Teaching after Academic Medicine’s column: Ideas for Medical Education. (Call for nominations for an Associate Editor of this column listed in Announcements.) We have named this newsletter The Forum, to encourage member dialogue. Thus, your responses to the ideas printed here or elsewhere are solicited for the Correspondence column we envision.
Each winter issue will also contain a precis of the Fall Annual Meeting of the BSEF, for those of you who were unable to attend.
Other ideas for rotating sections are invited Guest Editorials and a Regional Directors’ Column to highlight basic science projects or concerns unique to one of our four regions. And lastly, I envision submissions with commentary by our readers to the Basic Science Teaching…in the News column. These might be abstracts, quotes, etc. extracted from other sources to be shared with us all.
The Forum is your publication. Please consider the benefits of sharing your ideas, opinions, projects and volunteer time with us through this medium.