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Veerle Langenhorst: Paediatrician, Isala Hospital, Zwolle, The Netherlands

 

Reflection on the Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching Evidence-Based Health Care

As I mentioned in my previous blog (dd Feb 2020) this has been the most refreshing dive in my professional career. As an experienced pediatrician and EBM educator for over 15 years, a new world was opening up for me that was hidden under the surface; fascinating colorful coral reefs teeming with a different shoal of fish!

So, what’s the yield of 1 year’s submersion into the field of Evidence-Based Medical Education?

  • I got challenged to explore my role of faculty developer: looked into the evidence of different teaching perspectives questionnaires and tried one out in my own setting. This elicited interesting conversations about each others educational values and beliefs
  • I could choose my field of interest and explored literature about cultural differences in learning and teaching. I got introduced to the field of cultural anthropology and the validity criteria of qualitative research. This resulted in more consciousness of certain cultural barriers like ‘dealing with uncertainty’, ‘hierarchy’, and ‘group relations and face’.
  • It was a real eye-opener to reflect on these and recognize these themes in my own culture as well.
  • To study the interaction between the learners and their sociocultural environment, I was introduced to the activity theory (Engestrom) that offers a framework for analysing this.
  • I finally choose to explore my ‘natural habitat’; the field of work-based learning and how to improve the educational yield of the pediatric ward rotation and integrate EBP more explicitly. The bottom line is to make the implicit more explicit but it requires a certain level of awareness to recognize this. I proposed 10 faculty development initiatives that I will bring forward in group discussions. These groups will involve everybody in the team to participate as I became more aware that we are all part of a community of practice.  
  • I have made a draft for introducing Educational Prescriptions in our department. We just started with an invitation to phrase questions that arise during our daily work and collect them in a special question box.

 

The modular structure, blended learning approach, international peer students, and excellent tutors made this more than worthwhile.

No, it’s not finished yet. It’s a work in progress.

I have surfaced to take a new breath and certainly will go for a refreshing new dive again!