IFMSA at the OTTAWA/ICME 2018 Conference

Between March 10th and March 14th, two separate medical education conferences were jointly organized for the first time in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The 18th OTTAWA Conference and the International Conference on Medical Education (ICME) gathered more than 1000 delegates from over 40 countries to discuss all things medical and health professions’ education.

IFMSA participated actively in the Conference, delivering presentations on our Students’ Toolkit on Social Accountability in both the OTTAWA Conference and the International Conference on Medical Education to great reactions. Participants expressed interest in working with the Toolkit and even implementing it on a faculty-level. More importantly, the IFMSA Toolkit received a shout-out during the Conference’s last Symposium, when Professor Bob Woollard affirmed it as an exemplary initiative for students and educators alike.

The running theme of the Conference was Assessment, and in particular Authentic Assessment that truly reflects the learning effect on the trainee. Multiple sessions and discussions took place on what is the best way to assess students, as the world of medical education is moving from a strictly summative assessment to a more formative-based. Latest evidence reiterates the importance of having a strong mentorship system and ensuring formative feedback to the learner, which ultimately enhance the learning outcomes. A pioneer in the assessment strategies has been Professor Cees van der Vleuten, who gave a presentation on Programmatic Assessment, a fairly new yet promising model.

IFMSA was also invited to provide the students’ perspective on Assessment during the Panel Discussion on Assessment, where we answered questions and participated in a discussion with other expert figures. We also got the opportunity to meet many important figures on Medical Education and discuss several potential collaborations.

In short, the major outcomes of the Conference were the following:

  • Our Students’ Toolkit on Social Accountability received excellent exposure and many faculty members were eager to use it in their work
  • IFMSA met with AMEEMR Group on Social Accountability and we will be discussing a potential collaboration
  • IFMSA met with the Organizing Committee of the 19th OTTAWA Conference to discuss our involvement
  • Our collaboration with AMEE was strengthened, as AMEE is one of the organizers of the OTTAWA Conferences
  • One of our main partners and global leaders in Social Accountability,  Professor Bob Woollard, expressed interest to join our August Meeting in Montreal for the Theme Event in Social Accountability
  • IFMSA met with Professor Gordon, President of WFME, and discussed several new initiatives that we are hoping to work on together

In conclusion, our presence at the Conference was very productive for our external work in Medical Education and opened up a multitude of new opportunities for IFMSA. We are hoping to have a strong presence in the 19th OTTAWA Conference in Malaysia but more importantly, we are hoping to see you there!

If you would like to know more about OTTAWA Conferences make sure to visit their page, or check out the details about the OTTAWA/ICME 2018 Conference. If you have any questions, make sure to send an email to Katerina Dima at [email protected].