A number of conferences and workshops has been held to foster the development of the Patan Academy of Health Sciences. These meetings are collaborative efforts between supporters of PAHS from Nepal and from countries around the globe. The outcomes of the conferences have provided a strong foundation upon which PAHS is building.
The first major meeting for the medical school project was held from 24 to 26 October, 2005 in Kathmandu and Nagarkot. Several faculty members of medical schools and universities in Canada, USA, and Israel attended, along with the members of the Medical School Steering Committee and representatives of most of the clinical departments of Patan Hospital.
The meeting attendees discussed the challenges that they would face and devised a strategic plan to overcome these obstacles. They also established a plan to promote effective future collaboration between local supporters of the medical school and international partners of the project. Some participants in the meeting met with the Minister of Education and officials of the Nepal Medical Council, which oversees medical education in Nepal.
Curriculum Development Workshops
Sam Leinster, Dean of the University of East Anglia School of Medicine, came to Nepal to lead a workshop in curriculum development. The workshop was held at Dakshinkali, from 27 February to 1 March, 2006. Dr. Leinster shared his experiences with innovative medical curricula and progressive learning methods. He also gave presentations on topics such as the assessment of students, curriculum planning, theories of teaching and learning, and general guidance about starting a new medical school. With Dr. Leinster’s help and guidance, the supporters of the medical school project took the first major steps towards planning the novel curriculum of PAHS.
Second Consultative Meeting
The international supporters of the project, who had now formed the International Advisory Board, attended a second consultative meeting with the Nepali supporters of the project at Dakshinkali from 29 October to 3 November, 2006. The participants created a concrete plan for the medical school that includes encouraging rural paramedics to enroll, committing to providing a number of scholarships every year, and implementing a curriculum that focuses on Problem-Based Learning (PBL).
The International Advisory Board agreed to contribute to curriculum development and to recruit qualified people from outside of Nepal who can become volunteer faculty at the medical school. Another important accomplishment of this meeting was the creation of the Mission Statement and Goals of the institution. Furthermore, in meetings with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education, and representatives of other government agencies, the project received strong support.
Curriculum Development Workshop
A curriculum development workshop led by David Cook was held at Patan Hospital from 18 to 22 August, 2007. Over 30 people attended, many of whom are will become faculty members of PAHS. Throughout the workshop, the attendees contributed to creating a draft of the general structure of the PAHS curriculum. With Dr. Cook’s guidance, they also developed policies for student assessment in all parts of the curriculum and evaluation of teaching, and plans for faculty development and student admissions. Finally, the group identified a number of issues that remained to be addressed.
Approval by the Cabinet
The Cabinet of the government of Nepal endorsed the establishment of PAHS in principle on 20 August, 2007. This important measure made it possible for PAHS to become a legal, accredited institution of higher education.
Third PAHS Consultative Meeting
On 11 to 15 October, 2007 in Patan and Nagarkot, the third Consultative Meeting took place. The majority of the PAHS International Advisory Board attended, as well as members of the PAHS National Advisory Board, staff of Patan Hospital, and other supporters of PAHS from Nepal and abroad. The goals of the meeting were to review the status of the academy and its challenges, prepare a more concrete plan to realize the PAHS vision, and define the roles of the National and International Advisory Boards in the development and operation of PAHS.
Meeting participants shared the progress that had been made in the areas of curriculum development, faculty recruitment, fundraising, infrastructure development, the role that research will play at PAHS, and the importance of community health in the curriculum. They also discussed plans for future progress and a timeline for enrolling students. The international supporters of PAHS promised to provide needed basic science faculty, as well as to work to raise money for the project and try to provide assistance in any other way necessary. Furthermore, the Prime Minister and Health Minister affirmed their support for the mission of the Patan Academy of Health Sciences.
Training in Problem-Based Learning
Immediately following the third Consultative Meeting, Carol-Ann Courneya provided training for future PAHS faculty in the implementation of Problem-Based Learning. This innovative learning technique is an essential component of the PAHS curriculum. From 16 to 17 October, 2007, Dr. Courneya trained people to be tutors for groups of students learning through PBL, which was a novel experience for many of the attendees. On 18 October, the participants learned about writing PBL cases that accomplish the course objectives, and practiced this skill by creating cases of their own.
Approvement and Endorsement of PAHS Act:
Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) Act is approved by the Parliamentary Committee on January 15, 2008 and it is endorsed by the full-house of the Nepalese parliament on January 16, 2008.
Student Selection for PAHS with Prof. David Powis:
Prof. David Powis, Emeritus Professor of University of Newcastle, Australia trained members of the PAHS Student Selection Committee and Medical Education Unit on scientific aspects of Student Selection Principles and Methods from February 3 – 13, 2008. Under his guidance, the team has outlined a PAHS Student Selection Model using objective and scientific methods. This model ensures the enrollment of students from remote and rural areas and, from disadvantaged groups of the Nepalese society. Basic and Clinical Science faculty also received PBL Case Writing Sessions with Prof. Powis. Moreover, Medical Education Team also received a deep insight about various evaluation methods. He also gave a talk to the Executive Board of the Nepal Medical Council (NMC) about objectives and rationale of scientific student selection methods on Feb 12, 2008 at NMC Complex, Bansbari, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Training Workshop on Faculty Development held at PAHS:
Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) aims to train health care personnel who are able and willing to go and work in underserved rural areas of Nepal. PAHS envisages starting its MBBS program from early 2009. The necessary preparatory work is underway towards that end. Since training of the faculty to be an effective teacher is one of the core areas of such preparation.
PAHS hosted a 10 day long “Training Workshop on Faculty Development” from 25th February to 5th of March, 2008 in Patan Hospital. This workshop trained the current and prospective PAHS faculty in all the key areas of medical education including, but not limited to, curriculum design, effective teaching and student assessment. A total of 35 PAHS faculty have participated in and benefited from it. The workshop thus contributed to enhance the competence of core team of PAHS medical educators.
A four member team of highly experienced medical professors / medical educators affiliated with Ben-Gurion and Tel-Aviv universities were the resource persons for this workshop. Professor Michael Alkan from the Ben-Gurion University, an internationally renowned medical educator and a long time friend of Nepal was the team leader.
The MASHAV – Center for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Israel has generously provided the necessary funding to avail the resource persons for the workshop. PAHS deeply appreciates the generosity shown by the Israeli government and the Israeli Embassy in Kathmandu.
CME on Immunology Course at PAHS:
PAHS organized a two-day Continuous Medical Education (CME) course entitled “Comprehensive Review Course on Immunology” at Patan Hospital on August 7 -8, 2008. Thirty-seven participants from various Nepalese medical institutions participated in this course and they recapitulated their immunology knowledge in the process. The course director was Prof. David A. Hafler of Harvard Medical School. He was assisted by Prof. Janet Hafler of TUFTS University and Jason P. Hafler, PhD Fellow at Cambridge University, England. Mr. Dilip Rai, PAHS Faculty and Member of Faculty Development Committee, was the coordinator for this CME workshop. PAHS is trying to organize similar CME and workshops regularly in the future. Please visit this section regularly for the upcoming events at PAHS.
PAHS Vice Chancellor Appointed:
Dr Arjun Karki, MD is appointed as the first Vice Chancellor of the Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) by the Government of Nepal. Dr Karki worked as the member-secretary of the Medical School Steering Committee (MSSC) from Nov 13, 2003 and PAHS Project coordinator from February 9, 2007. He is also the Chief of the Medicine Department of the Patan Hospital (PH). PAHS and PH would like to congratulate him and wish him a very successful tenure as the first VC of PAHS. We are sure that PAHS would become the pioneer health science university at national, regional and international levels under his leadership.
PBL Tutor Training Workshop at PAHS:
A three day long “PBL Tutor Training Workshop” was held on 13-15 October, 2008 at PAHS in collaboration with University of British Columbia, Canada. Prof. Carol-Ann Courneya (workshop director) and Dr. Jane Gair (University of Victoria, Canada) trained 30-35 PAHS Faculty. Dr. Shambhu Upadhya, Dr. Saroj Dhital, Mr. Babu Raja Maharjan and Mr. Shital Bhandary also facilitated the PBL Tutorial sessions as Resource Faculty. PAHS would like to express its deepest gratitude to the AVM School, Laltipur and its students and teachers for their outstanding contributions in the process. PAHS PBL coordinator, Mr. Satish Raj Ghimire, coordinated the workshop.
Student Assessment Workshop at PAHS:
A two day long “Workshop on Assessment Principles and Methods” was held on October 19-20, 2008 at PAHS in collaboration with the University of Alberta, Canada. Prof. David Cook (Workshop Director) trained PAHS faculty on underlying principles along with the tools and methods used in the student assessment. PAHS Student Assessment Committee coordinator, Mr. Shital Bhandary, coordinated the workshop.
Grant Writing Workshop at PAHS:
A day long “Workshop on Grant Writing” was held on October 19, 2008 at PAHS in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School and State University of New York. Prof. Cliff Tabin (Workshop Director), Prof. Stuart McLaughlin and Dr. Steve Frogett trained PAHS faculty on underlying concepts, principles and methods used in the grant writing. PAHS Faculty and Program Officer, Mr. Shital Bhandary coordinated the workshop.
Cytology Workshop at PAHS:
A day long “Workshop on Cytology (FNAC)” was held on October 25, 2008 at PAHS in collaboration with the Rikshospitalet University Hospital, Norway. Prof. Aashmund Berner (Workshop Director) and team trained PAHS/PH faculty and pathologists from various medical colleges of Kathmandu Valley on use of the FNAC methods in clinical practice and its importance in Nepal. PAHS/PH Pathology Department Chair Dr. Bandana Sigdel coordinated the workshop.
PAHS Faculty Development Workshop:
A three day long “PAHS Faculty Development Workshop” was held on January 19, 20 and 22, 2009 at PAHS. It was the first in-house faculty development workshop with a team of internal faculty with competence in Medical Education and was led by Dr. Huw Morgan, Medical Education Unit, PAHS. It covered Adult Learning, Small Group Process, Student Assessment, Micro Teaching, Mentoring, Feedback etc. Evaluation of the workshop was done using standard statistical tools every day. PAHS Faculty Development Committee Chair, Dr. Kundu Yangzom, coordinated the workshop.
Clinical Clerkship Workshop at PAHS:
A three day long “Training Workshop on Clinical Clerkship” was held on February 15-17, 2009 at PAHS in collaboration with the University of East Anglia, UK. Prof. Sam Leinster (Workshop Director) trained PAHS Clinical Coordinators, Medical Education Unit and Student Assessment Committee members and, some invitees on the underlying principles and issues
related to the Teaching in the Clinical Environment, Learning Theories for Clinical Teachers, Developing Core Clinical Curriculum, Teaching Clinical Skills, Delivering the Clinical Curriculum and Assessment in Clinical Settings. Standard setting methods like Angoff, Ebel and Hoftsee were discussed and demonstrated with explicit examples using the real student assessment scores and results. PAHS Clinical Science Coordinator, Dr. Shrijana Shrestha, coordinated the workshop.
Workshop on “How to give an effective presentation” :
A three day long workshop on “How to give an effective presentation” was held from 5th -7th April, 2009 organized by Faculty Development Committee, PAHS in collaboration with University of Alberta, Canada. Prof. David Cook (Workshop Director) trained PAHS faculty on underlying principles of lecuring along with group exercises. Ms. Mili Joshi co-ordinated the workshop.