Cross-border contextualisation of family medicine curriculum: an examination of the process

Int J Med Educ. 2023 Aug 31;14:117-122. doi: 10.5116/ijme.64e3.740e.


Objectives: This study explores a method of transferring a post graduate medical education curriculum internationally and contextualising it to the local environment. This paper also explores the experiences of those local medical educationalists involved in the process.

Methods: Several methods were implemented. Firstly, a modified Delphi process for the contextualisation of learning outcomes was implemented with a purposefully sampled expert group of Malaysian Family Medicine Specialists. Secondly a small group review for supporting materials was undertaken. Finally, qualitative data in relation to the family medicine specialists' experiences of the processes was collected via online questionnaire and analysed via template analysis. Descriptive statistics were used.

Results: Learning outcomes were reviewed over three rounds; 95.9% (1691/1763) of the learning outcomes were accepted without modification, with the remainder requiring additions, modifications, or deletions. Supporting materials were extensively altered by the expert group. Template analysis showed that Family Medicine Specialists related positively to their involvement in the process, commenting on the amount of similarity in the medical curriculum whilst recognising differences in disease profiles and cultural approaches.

Conclusions: Learning outcomes and associated material were transferable between "home" and "host" institution. Where differences were discovered this novel approach places "host" practitioners' experiences and knowledge central to the adaptation process, thereby rendering a fit for purpose curriculum. Host satisfaction with the outcome of the processes, as well as ancillary benefits were clearly identified.

Keywords: cross-border; curriculum; delphi technique; family medicine; general practice.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Family Practice*
  • Health Facilities
  • Humans
  • Learning