International Expert Introduces Innovations in Art of Teaching Students of Medicine

1 1Lecturers at the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University participated in medical education training sessions led by an international expert from the USA, Prof Dr Nutan Vaidya, the senior associate dean for the Academic Learning Environment at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences.

Dr Vaidya introduced advanced and globally recognised teaching methods to the academic community of the Faculty of Medicine. Three professional competency topics: “Teaching with Learning in Mind”, “Effective Questioning”, and “Teaching on the Go” were presented and practical classes were held. “Times are changing and we need to train students of medicine in a new way, taking into account all challenges of the modern world, the new requirements of this medical doctor profession. This is a real art of teaching”, said Vaidya.

The professors of the faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University, who represent different fields of medicine, were quite thankful for this unique opportunity to enhance their skills, gain new knowledge, and learn how to combine and develop them. These practical abilities will allow them to prepare qualified future professionals.

As a lifelong academic and administrator, Dr Vaidya has spent a considerable amount of time recognising and cultivating the talents of residents and professors and helping enhance their teaching and academic skills. Dr Vaidya assumed the role of senior associate dean for Faculty Talent Recognition and Enhancement in 2014. She has conducted several faculty development seminars for the clinical faculty at CMS. In January 2016, Dr Vaidya took the helm of the newly created Office of Academic Learning Environment and has begun several new initiatives to improve the student learning environment. Under her leadership, the medical school has implemented measures to promote professionalism and build resilience in faculty, staff and students. Dr Vaidya was instrumental in starting the medical school’s clinical faculty recognition programme. She leads the Professionalism Committee of the Chicago Medical School, which teaches, promotes and recognises professionalism in students.

“We are happy that our cooperation with Dr Vaidya is so fruitful, and we will continue to work together. It is important for there to be more advanced teaching methods in the world that we could use. These training sessions encourage the expansion of our field of knowledge and our willingness to say goodbye to out-dated standards and to align ourselves with the progressive teaching trends of modern times”, said Prof. Vaiva Hendrixson, who is the vice-dean for academic affairs at the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University and on whose initiative these training sessions were organised. Academics have understood that they can work differently. Hendrixson felt pleased that professors, heads of different departments, and those who set new trends attended the training session and that they would be able to implement those changes by setting a personal example. Furthermore, according to Prof Vaiva Hendrixson, it is crucial when colleagues can introduce good examples from their own experiences to each other and ask for advice.

During the visit of Prof Dr Nutan Vaidya, not only were interactive professional training sessions organised, but also a special meeting was held with the Medical Study Programme Committee (SPC) of Vilnius University, which is dedicated to reviewing and improving the study programme and schedule. Vaidya was pleased to become an advisor to the SPC at the Faculty of Medicine in Vilnius. She actively participated in the discussion of study mobility between Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University. Further steps in developing study exchange were discussed.

Prof Vaidya is also an expert in virtual learning using simulation technologies, which is very popular worldwide. There are plans to establish a simulation centre for teaching students of medicine in Vilnius as a part of the newly built science centre at Santara (a science and research park). Sharing good practice in this field is also very important.

Similar professional qualification training sessions that introduce the world’s most advanced innovations in medical education will take place. The administration of the Faculty of Medicine has already scheduled more visits from international experts in medical education.

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