Association of Medical Education Europe 2016

Our Director of Education, Jackie Martin, highlights some key issues raised at the Association of Medical Education Europe conference.

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The 2016 Association of Medical Education Europe conference was held in Barcelona at the end of August. It was attended by delegates involved in medical education from all over the world. I was lucky enough to be part of this as well and it was one of the most interesting and motivating events I’ve attended over the last few years. 

Author: Jacqueline Martin, Director of Education
Date: 6 October 2016

I wasn’t just there as a delegate, I presented a poster about the development and accreditation of the College’s higher qualifications. To do this, we were organised into groups of approximately 18 and we each had 3 minutes to talk through our posters and then 2 minutes to take questions from the rest of the group. The theme for my group was curriculum evaluation and this included topics such as programmes to encourage medics to stay in rural areas in Thailand, a supervision scheme for Australian medics working in remote areas, healthcare students’ attitudes towards interprofessional education and peer review of teaching for GP tutors. The work that was presented took place in countries all over the world but what struck me was that many of the problems are the same, for example, in Thailand there is a big problem with trying to encourage medical trainees to stay and practise in rural locations. In optometry in the UK we know it is a challenge to encourage pre-registration optometrists to train and practise in towns and villages that are not near to their home or university. 

It is vital that we don’t restrict our development and learning to what is happening in optometry alone.

Over the 3 days I attended just over 18 hours of plenary sessions, symposiums and short communications covering topics as diverse and inspiring as medical education in difficult circumstances – setting up a university in Rwanda; how to embed diversity in medical education and how to assess issues such as sexism, homelessness and drug addiction in OSCEs; making the transition from trainee to professional and using portfolios to assess trainees and qualified professionals. 

I made some useful contacts and have ideas for projects which I would like to start in the next year. The most important thing I have taken away from this conference, however, is that it is vital that we don’t restrict our development and learning to what is happening in optometry alone. We must look to the wider field of medical education. Whether we’re talking about doctors, dentists, physiotherapists or pharmacists, we all have problems in common and, therefore, we can learn from each other and share solutions. Whether it’s the importance of interprofessional education, how to teach professionalism or embracing technology for small screen learning, these are all as relevant in optometry as they are in the medical and other allied health professions. I will certainly be keeping a very open mind in terms of the development of education and assessment as we start the new business year at the College.


Jackie Martin
Director of Education

We offer members the opportunity to develop professionally and clinically through high quality CPD provision and assessments. 

The Education team runs the Scheme for Registration and Independent Prescribing, and develops and accredits a range of higher qualifications. We are also responsible for developing CPD for the profession, training examiners, assessors and supervisors and administering DOCET. Working in assessment and CPD means we have daily contact with students, trainees and qualified optometrists. They are either going through assessment processes themselves or they are course providers, trainers or employers who are running courses or supporting their staff to undertake them.      

I’m looking forward to continuing to do what we do in the field of assessment and CPD for optometrists but making it bigger and better. I am immensely proud of the Education team, in particular their hard work and commitment, and the way they constantly rise to the challenge. We’ll be developing and improving and there will doubtless be some challenges along the way - but that’s how we like it! 


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