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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-17

Improving medical education: Need for educational research


1 Department of General Medicine, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Ganapathichettikulam, Kalapet, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Ganapathichettikulam, Kalapet, Puducherry, India
3 Department of Medical Education, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Ganapathichettikulam, Kalapet, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Kurien Thomas
Department of General Medicine, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Ganapathichettikulam, Kalapet, Puducherry - 605 014
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: A formal evaluation of the Postgraduate (PG) training program has not been previously carried out at Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences. An evidence-based participatory approach was considered important to identify activities and to improve the training program. Population: Important stake holders to the PG training program including PG students, faculty in the Department of General Medicine, Faculty of Specialty Training the PGs, PG program administrator, and representative from the educational unit of the institution participated in the program evaluation (PE). Methods: The strategic planning (SP) exercise consisted of three activities. (1) A rapid assessment of present status by an anonymous cross-sectional survey of all identified stake holders (2) presentation of the results of the survey and discussion on different dimensions of PG training (3) a situational analysis of strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to develop an evidence-based recommendations on the definite steps to be under taken to improve the program. Results: There were 25/28 (89%) identified stake holders participated in the exercise. Through the exercise, consensus was obtained to broaden the training objectives to include seven competencies necessary for PG student. The overall satisfaction with training was 80.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 74.3–86.7). However, there were five responders (20% 95% CI: 9–39) who scored <80% for overall score. It identified 15 definite steps to strengthen the program in the dimensions of (1) educational resources and inputs, (2) educational interactions and postings, and (3) student evaluation. Conclusions: Participatory research, including PE and SWOT analysis are valid tools, which can be used to understand the present status and identify activities as for evidence-based SP in academic medical institutions.


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