Author: Shankar, P R
Date published: July 28, 2011
The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education (FAIMER) is an international organisation developed by the Educational Commission of Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) of the United States to promote medical education and research internationally. FAIMER has the mission to create opportunities in their country of residence for medical educators reducing migration to developed nations.
FAIMER has recently created regional institutes in India, South Africa and Brazil. In India, the regional institutes are in Coimbatore, south India, Mumbai, western India and Ludhiana, north India. FAIMER offers a two year part-time fellowship in health sciences education and educational leadership. These fellowships are open for faculty members of health education institutions in developing countries. Strong institutional support for your fellowship application and for your project is necessary. Selected fellows develop and implement a curriculum innovation project (CIP) in their home institutions. There are three on-site sessions in the FAIMER institute and off-site sessions where fellows, alumni and faculty interact and learn on the listserv. Fellows learn educational strategies and leadership skills in the context of their CIPs creating a strong motivation for learning. The fellowship also creates a community of health science educators who can share both personal and professional matters. FAIMER is a big family often termed FAIMERly, a term coined by a PSGFAIMER institute fellow, Dr Nalin Mehta.
The FAIMER institute in Philadelphia, United States was established in 2001. The book aims to tell the stories of the first 10 years of FAIMER through individual stories of FAIMER fellows. The world map clearly shows the locations of the FAIMER institutions and the countries of the FAIMER fellows. The comments about the FAIMER revolution at the beginning of the book being a slow and silent yet steady one is very apt.
The book has short one or two page descriptions by various fellows and faculties from around the world about how they came to know about FAIMER, their FAIMER experience, and how the experience has changed their personal and professional life. On going through the book I recognised a number of fellows and faculty members. I would like to mention: Dr Payal Bansal, India a faculty at our institute, Dr Dinesh Badyal, Dr Rita Sood, Dr Anshu, Dr Thomas Chacko the Director of the PSGFAIMER Institute, among others. Dr Shyamal Bhattacharya from Dharan, Nepal and Dr Avinash Supe from Mumbai, India are also important personalities in medical education. There are also notes by other fellows from my institute, the PSGFAIMER Regional Institute, Coimbatore, India namely Dr Unnikrishnan, Dr Ashwini Appaji, Dr Animesh Jain, Dr Feroze Kaliyadan, and Dr Jyoti Nagmoti. The photos are informal, lively and show fellows and faculty engaged in various activities.
Short highlighted excerpts from fellows' stories and facts about FAIMER add to the beauty of the book. I have contributed a short description of my experiences to this delightful book. While FAIMER fellows and faculty can read this to relive their experiences health science educators outside FAIMER will become aware of this unique movement and the education fellowship. FAIMER fellowships are part-time and can be carried out along with your usual commitments. With your CIP and new ideas about education, your institution, region and country also benefit. This well-produced and colourful book may motivate you to apply for the FAIMER fellowships and if selected you join an international community of health science educators.
About the book: FAIMER: 10 years of improving world health through education. 2011: Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research. The book can be downloaded for free from http://www.faimer.org/publications/10anniv.pdf.
Reviewed by: Shankar PR