Several weeks ago I attended our medical student spring formal, an annual event at which students recognize and honor the best teachers and courses in all four years of our curriculum. As the names were called and those receiving awards rose from their seats and stepped forward, I noted that several were members of IAMSE. These faculty members were being recognized by their students for excellence in teaching, a testament to their commitment and passion for medical student education. It is this dedication in teaching which IAMSE strives to support. As the mission statement affirms, it is our purpose to advance medical education through faculty development and to ensure that the teaching and learning of medicine continues to be firmly grounded in science.
We in IAMSE take this mission seriously and make every effort to provide a multidisciplinary forum for discussion of issues affecting medical science education and medical science educators. Multiple projects and products are in progress. In April of 2002 we piloted an extremely successful series of webcast audio seminars. These 1-hour telephone conference calls supplemented by webcast PowerPoint slides are a method of exchanging vital information on timely topics in medical science education. The 2002 Winter Series, Recent Trends in Basic Science Education featured such sessions as Defining and Implementing Competency in Basic Science Education and Merging Basic Science Departments: Improvement or Impairment? http://www.iamsconference.org Webcast audio seminars provide information not available elsewhere and broadcast directly into your office or departmental conference room.
A cornerstone of our success continues to be the IAMSE Annual Association Meeting. Last year in Guadalajara, attendees from 18 countries enjoyed the hospitality of our Mexican hosts and participated in faculty development courses, plenary sessions and workshops highlighting topics central to medical science education. I invite you to visit the IAMSE website to read summaries of the small group sessions, view the slides and download the handouts, and to listen to the full-length presentations by invited plenary speakers. http://www.iamse.org/conf/conf6/proceedings6_message.htm The program for the July 2003 meeting hosted by Georgetown University School of Medicine promises to be just as exciting. With an expected attendance of over three hundred, participants will have the opportunity to hear from member and non-member experts in the areas of curriculum design, evaluation, and faculty development. http://www.iamseconference.org
The IAMSE website is another feature that contains valuable educational resources beyond just maintaining Proceedings of our Annual Association Meetings. From the “Ask an Expert” service and discipline-based objectives to a world-wide medical school locator and access to this journal, our website serves as the central site for information about IAMSE and for medical education resources applicable to medical science educators.
Last but certainly not least, we offer you JIAMSE. This international peer reviewed journal is the voice of our association and provides an avenue for publication of scholarly works by all medical science educators. Now to be published in three languages, JIAMSE disseminates the results of original research in medical science education to fellow educators around the world.
Reading this journal, participating in webcast audio seminars, and attending our meetings cannot guarantee that your name will be called at faculty member recognition award ceremonies. However, look around you. Those who are so recognized make it a part of their career plan to keep apprised of the most current and innovative strategies for teaching. It is the goal of IAMSE and its international journal JIAMSE to provide this information for the winners of tomorrow – whether or not your name is ever called.