It is a privilege and an honour to be entrusted to lead the Academy of Health Professions Educators (AHPE) as its President for the year 2023; a privilege that comes with a sense of responsibility. Having witnessed the growth of this academy since its birth, it is indeed heartening to see the academy grow in numbers, ideas and national visibility.
A few decades ago, it would be unthinkable to consider Health Professions Education (HPE) as a distinct entity. We professionals were better recognised as a teacher in their respective specialty, rather than don the more holistic role of a HPE. The changes were gradual and were a fruit of individual and collective efforts of “teachers” who thought differently, who went beyond their traditional roles. The radical changes implemented by the regulators added strength to these collective efforts to change the face of HPE in India.
We are into the fifth year of implementation of Competency Based Medical Education. As the critical mass of trained and aware HPE increases, similar initiatives are witnessed in other health professions too. The National Medical Commission has recently achieved the prestigious WFME recognition status for 10 years. This recognition will enable Indian medical graduates to pursue postgraduate training and practice in other countries that require WFME recognition. Commendable, but instead of resting on these laurels, we need to move from “recognition” to “accreditations” and “ranking” and focus on enhancing quality, be it for the “foreign” shores or for the masses in our own nation. This involves addressing various criteria to align with standards, practices, and emerging trends in healthcare in India and globally.
The able team at AHPE envisages measures to offer support in form of collaborations for research and scholarship, academic programs such as webinars and workshops and any other feasible initiatives as suggested by members. Webinars are a regular feature on the AHPE platform; and are available freely on the website. Members are encouraged to make the best use of these. Faculty development, educational scholarship, use of technology to enhance learning, interprofessional education, national and global collaborations, accreditations and quality assurance, continuous professional development are some of areas that we need to work on, while remembering to curate these to the needs of patients and healthcare systems in India. The successive National Conferences in Health Professions Education (NCHPE) have grown in magnitude and academic content and are a much look-forward-to event for HPE. These have in their own way also helped build a Community of Practice.
Currently majority of members of AHPE are medical educators. Interprofessional education is the new way forward globally, and we too encourage representations from ALL Health Professions educators. AHPE has been, and will continue to be a collective voice to represent constructive ideas to the policy makers and regulators. Hence these ideas are always welcome.
As I have said often, my vision is “Capacity Building in Health Professions Education”. Effective capacity building can lead to increased self-reliance, improved performance, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, ultimately contributing to sustainable development; We at AHPE will endeavour to all that is needed towards this goal.
Thanking you once again for the faith reposed in me.