The FAIMER Institute: creating international networks of medical educators

Med Teach. 2005 May;27(3):214-8. doi: 10.1080/01421590500126379.


One of the many products of Miriam's career was an international network of medical educators. She knew we would learn from each other and gain access to the perspectives, resources, and experiences that such a community brings. More importantly, Miriam understood the need for shared values, support, encouragement, and a sense of global citizenship that can come only from an international network of colleagues and friends. The FAIMER Institute, described in this paper, is a formalization and extension of Miriam's work and we hope it will be as successful as she was. The FAIMER Institute is a two-year fellowship program designed for medical school faculty from developing countries who have the potential to improve medical education. The first year consists of two residential sessions in the US before and after an intersession of distance learning and implementation of an educational project at the participant's home institution. The second year, completed from the Fellow's home country, involves co-mentoring a new Fellow and active engagement in the Institute's Internet discussion group. The program is designed to teach educational methods and leadership skills, as well as to develop strong professional bonds with other medical educators around the world. Preliminary data concerning the efficacy of the program have been encouraging. Fellows' perceptions of their knowledge, skills and attitudes show significant improvement. These self-assessments are supported by the outcomes, which indicate considerable scholarship as well as academic and administrative advancement. There have also been changes in the nature of the professional networks of these medical educators, which enhance their ability to undertake more complex projects in an innovative fashion. Finally, plans for the future focus on conducting regional Institutes in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and South America with the goal of fostering the creation of networks of medical educators. The current model will be modified to meet local needs, FAIMER will coordinate its other programs to support development in the regions, and partners will be sought to support and expand this effort.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum / standards
  • Developing Countries
  • Education, Medical / standards*
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Educational Measurement / standards
  • Faculty, Medical / standards*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*