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Beyond Borders: Online Education to Doctors

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Posted December 28, 2017

Harvard Medical School will offer online education to doctors-in-the-making and practicing clinicians affiliated with a pediatric cancer hospital in Egypt, the 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital in Cairo.

The coursework, part of Harvard Medical School’s innovative online learning program HMX Fundamentals, offers access to the knowledge and acumen of some of Harvard Medical School’s top physician-scientists and focuses on foundational subjects deemed fundamental for all frontline clinicians, not just specialists.

“We are taking our knowledge beyond borders—a central tenet in the School’s philosophy—and are truly excited to offer access to a new group of learners,” said David Roberts, dean for external education at Harvard Medical School. “The materials and course work are ideally suited to help medical students and physicians in Egypt on their quest to improve pediatric health.”

“Immunology and genetics are relevant to every aspect of medicine and medical research,” said Sherif Abouelnaga, professor of pediatric oncology and the CEO of 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital. “Our mission is to prepare highly qualified health care leaders through smart education and research. We have recently signed an agreement with Harvard Medical School to give access to online programs in such fundamental subjects to our healthcare professionals in Egypt.”

HMX courses are currently offered to students at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, as well as through institutional partnerships around the globe, in which students use the materials to prepare for rigorous medical-training programs. In addition to 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital, current HMX partners include Khon Kaen University in Thailand and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University.

The program features real-life case studies and offers an immersive experience, veering away from traditional passive learning and slide show presentations. Students are exposed to actual medical scenarios filmed in clinical settings, such as intensive care units and cardiac catheterization labs at Harvard-affiliated hospitals, allowing them to work through real-life applications of concepts.

The idea is to provide foundational knowledge in meaningful context that is relevant to learners.

Each course features an interactive forum where students can ask questions about the content and receive expert feedback.

“We’re building a unique learning experience around topics that are pivotal for the future of medicine and patient care,” said Michael Parker, associate dean for online learning and faculty director of HMX. “In particular, genetics and immunology are increasingly important in the understanding of mechanisms of cancer as well as in the care of patients with the various forms of this disease.”

In a critical departure from traditional lecture-based passive learning, the program’s courses include real-life scenarios that present complex topics in relevant clinical context.

“We are redefining and reimagining the way we teach medicine. As an educator, I am thrilled to see these creative new approaches reaching learners not only locally but also globally in institutions around the world,” said Edward Hundert, dean for medical education at Harvard Medical School.

The External Education program at Harvard Medical School is also expanding access to the HMX platform through a series of licensing arrangements with other institutions within the United States and internationally to help students everywhere adapt to the changing world of biomedical education, research and care delivery.

Source: HMS

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