Findings from Qualitative Research Examining the Impact of COVID-19 on Continued Medical Education in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
In a policy brief on the 4th of August 2020, the United Nations Secretary-General warned the COVID-19 disruptions to education threaten to cause a ‘generational catastrophe’, widening existing entrenched inequalities and stifling what established and evolving progress has been made. In health, we know that a gap exists between high and low-resourced countries. Where medical education is tied intimately with health outcomes, the pandemic’s impact on medical education threatens to widen this if needs are not identified. We thus aimed to develop an understanding of the LMIC experience by reflecting on educator and institutional successes and shortcomings over the past year. As a starting point, understanding shared perspectives and experiences from people on the ground is paramount in identifying common themes and key challenges, thus providing a base for relevant and achievable action.
Dr Pauline Wake is an anaesthetist in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG). She is also a lecturer and head of the discipline of the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea. Her interest is in paediatric anaesthesia and has completed fellowships in India and Australia. With this experience, she focuses on improving medical education for anaesthetic trainees in PNG, including the incorporation of the virtual platform to reach trainees outside of Port Moresby and PNG.
Dr Eugene Kua is an Advanced Paediatric Trainee who has made a recent foray into global health and is the lead investigator of the above research. Commencing his Masters in Clinical Education, Dr. Kua has keen interests and experience in clinical education and peer mentorship. As the 2021 Laos Clinical Education Fellow he has been involved in work ensuring uniformity of IMNCI guidelines in light of recent revisions, the introduction of Child Mortality Reviews in major paediatric centres in Laos, and the development of online based resources for medical students and doctors.
Associate Professor Amy Gray has more than 10 years of experience in global child health focused in South East Asia, particularly Lao PDR and Vietnam. A/Prof Gray is a Consultant Paediatrician and the Director of Medical Education and the Education Hub at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne; an Associate Professor in the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics; and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Her fields of expertise include quality of care for children and newborns in health facilities, medical education and education capacity strengthening in both high and low resource settings.
Chair: Dr Natalie Evans