Message from the President

Edward P. Finnerty, Ph.D.

President, IAMSE

As 2007 comes to an end, it seems appropriate to recap some of the highlights of the year for IAMSE.

This past July IAMSE visited Cleveland for another successful meeting. This year the highlights, in addition to a wonderful visit to the science center, included some excellent pre-conference faculty development courses and workshops, presentations on quality teaching, promoting students communication skills, teaching methods and assessments. The various focus sessions further elaborated on the plenary sessions as well as a variety of other timely and interesting topics. The culminating debate, “Is Medicine a Science” lead to some very pointed and timely conversations during the post-debate discussions sessions.

IAMSE was present and participated in the AMEE meeting in Trondheim, Norway this past August. In addition to hosting a luncheon for those interested in IAMSE we sponsored several sessions. From reports they were well received. We intend to participate again in 2008 in Prague. If anyone plans to attend please contact Julie Hewett (

The Webcast Audio seminar series concluded this past November with the final of our two-part series on academic leadership. Tom Schmidt did a masterful job of bringing it all together. Next Spring’s series looks to be another valuable offering. Nehad El Sawi has taken over the reigns as Chair of the WAS committee relieving Jack Strandhoy to focus on his role as Secretary of IAMSE. Our special thanks to Jack. Please respond to Nehad’s calls for ideas and input so we can continue to offer a quality service to our members.

The membership committee has initiated the first Colleague-to-Colleague series. This is a project that came out of the Strategic Planning process and discussions at the annual meeting. This first session focused on faculty development and how to help faculty become better teachers.

As mentioned above, the annual meeting ended with the debate regarding medicine as a science. Related to that is the role and value of the sciences in medical education. This is a timely project being undertaken by IAMSE and described in the last issue of JIAMSE. To date the coordinating committee has been established and a first round of letter inviting a variety of constituent organizations to participate. Please contact your professional associations, e.g. Society for Neuroscience, American Association of Anatomists, etc. to inquire if they have responded and are participating. Our plan is to begin the study with a focus on the U.S. As we progress we would like to incorporate a more international perspective from our European and Asian members.

The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) has unveiled their proposal for restructuring the licensure examination process and replacing USMLE Steps 1 and 2 with a Gateway examination. IAMSE has carefully considered the issue and the proposal and submitted a response to the NBME. A copy of the letter is posted on the IAMSE website ( for your review. You will note that in our response, we have encouraged the NBME to make use of the wisdom and experience of our membership in their deliberations on this issue. I would encourage all of you to please accept if asked to contribute.

A new initiative for IAMSE is a collaboration with HEAL (Health Education Assets Library; This initiative will involve a major revision of the HEAL site to take advantage of the web 2.0 technology. New features will include a Wiki configuration for greater interaction and sharing of resources and information. Ample opportunities will be available for IAMSE members to contribute. Watch for more details this Spring.

The strength of IAMSE is its membership and for IAMSE to thrive, we need to look to increasing our membership base. IAMSE has welcomed affiliation with related associations that promoted the mission of IAMSE; The Group for Research in Pathology Education (GRIPE) being one example. Our meeting this July in Salt Lake City will be the first incorporating the members of the former Slice of Life. Along these lines, the Team Based Learning Consortium (TBL) will be joining us as well. We look to these groups as becoming productive and active members of IAMSE.

Please mark your calendars for 12th Annual IAMSE meeting, July 26-29, 2008 co-hosted by University of Utah School of Medicine and Slice of Life. Veronica Michaelsen and her committee have been working diligently to develop an exciting, informative and fun meeting. Also, for long-term planning, the 2009 IAMSE meeting will be held in early July in Leiden, Netherlands.

Published Page Numbers: 74