Building communities of practice: MEPI creates a commons

Acad Med. 2014 Aug;89(8 Suppl):S45-9. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000349.


The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) supports medical education capacity development, retention, and research in Sub-Saharan African institutions. Today, MEPI comprises more than 40 medical schools in Africa and 20 in the United States. Since 2011, the MEPI Coordinating Center, working with the MEPI schools and the U.S. government, has laid the groundwork and served as a catalyst for the creation and development of MEPI "communities of practice" (CoPs). These CoPs encompass seven components, some of which are virtual while others are tangible. They include technical working groups, principal investigator site visit exchanges, an annual symposium, a MEPI journal supplement, the MEPI Web site, newsletters, and webinars. Despite certain challenges and the question of sustainability, the presence within the MEPI network of an organization focused on promoting group consciousness and facilitating collaborative projects is an asset that is likely to continue to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Capacity Building
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • International Cooperation*
  • International Educational Exchange*
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Schools, Medical / organization & administration*
  • United States