AHPE Official

Message from President AHPE 2023: Dr Chetna Desai


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.


Chetna Desai

AHPE Official

Message from President AHPE 2022: Dr Anshu

It is a privilege and an honour to be given the responsibility of leading the Academy of Health Professions Educators as its President for 2022. I have been lucky to be associated with this organization since it was a fledgling idea, and have seen it grow from a concept to a functional body. In the process, I have had the opportunity to be mentored by several giants in medical education.

We are at crossroads. Since competency-based medical education has been introduced in a nation-wide process, teachers and institutions have had to adapt quickly and on many fronts. The process includes concepts which the faculty themselves have not experienced as students. So, understandably the journey is expected to be a bumpy ride. Since 2019, a lot of med-ed jargon such as, early clinical exposure, self-directed learning, clerkship, integration, flipped classrooms, simulation-based learning, workplace-based assessment, etc. have been making the rounds. As an Academy we have had the expertise and the opportunity to provide the scaffolding and make these concepts easy to implement. This has been done through regular webinars through the AHPE forum. These webinars are freely accessible through our website. Furthermore, our members have been conducting faculty development programmes both offline and online.

In the last decade, the National Conferences in Health Professions Education (NCHPE) have become a common meeting ground where faculty of all specialities have had the opportunity to air their concerns and get solutions. Each year they are based on a relevant theme, and it is heartening to see the quality of educational research presentations improve. Building this community of practice is an important achievement, for it is through informal interactions that ideas and networks proliferate.

At the AHPE, our endeavour will be to empower our faculty to grow together. There have been attempts to give representation to faculty of all health professions, from different parts of India, and to learn from each other. Newer ideas will always be welcome and we will always look out for enthusiastic faculty to take this journey forward. We intend to work with the regulatory bodies, and represent diverse points of view, because the answers are never in black and white. Academic debates and discussions are a sign of a healthy, growing and aware society.  

There are several areas which need our attention. And the quality of medical schools is foremost on our minds. As the numbers of colleges increase, we need to keep tabs on the quality of teaching-learning and assessment. Quality cannot be achieved with minimum faculty, neither can there be shortcuts in this journey. The quest for excellence demands adequate manpower, transparency, delegation of work, accountability, supervision, monitoring and integrity.

I am lucky to have stood on the shoulders of my distinguished predecessors and seen their vision for this Academy. With their guidance and with the support of my accomplished team members, I wish to take small steps towards this dream. We might not be able to achieve it all immediately, but every step in this journey will make a small difference. And therefore each little contribution from the AHPE members matters. Please feel free to reach out to us with fresh ideas and suggestions.  

With warm regards,


President, AHPE, 2022

AHPE Official

Message from President AHPE 2021: Dr Vivek Saoji

I am happy to take over as President of Academy of Health Professions Educators (AHPE) India, an organization of enthusiastic, energetic and erudite educators across all the disciplines of Health Science in India.  At the outset I thank the AHPE for giving me this honour and opportunity to serve the academy, which I shall do to the best of my abilities.

Currently, we are going through both unprecedented as well as exciting times. Unprecedented because COVID-19 has ravaged our lives like never before, it has disrupted our lives in health, economy, and education, social, cultural and all other aspects.  Education, particularly Health Professions Education (HPE) has been the biggest casualty of this pandemic, nevertheless it has opened up new opportunities and a new normal is evolving.

It is also exciting time because a lot is happening, particularly in HPE. COVID has compelled us to use technology in our teaching-learning process. We were talking about blended learning and flipped classroom, simulation-based learning and use of technology in teaching-learning but sparsely use it.  COVID has fast forwarded all this, the lessons learned during this time will certainly be useful for enhancing the learner experiences and overall enhancing the teaching-learning process. 

Secondly, the roll out of new Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME) curriculum by the MCI/NMC.  This paradigm shift has changed the focus from discipline-based, traditional curriculum to competency-based, integrated curriculum, here the emphasis of all the teaching-learning activities is on “ability to do and/or perform”, rather than ability to know.  The challenge and the responsibility on all of us is to successfully navigate through these changes, adapt to new normal as early as possible as well as to successfully implement the much needed CBME curriculum.

We at the AHPE have the onus and responsibility to be leaders in bringing about this change, empower and encourage our faculty, help to fulfil the aspirations of our faculty and students and finally be the change we want it to happen. 

It will be my endeavour to carry on the good work of my predecessors, and create innovative opportunities for capacity building in HPE. I want to take all the specialities in Health Sciences together, foster interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations, promote the concepts of educational scholarship and bring HPE with global standards. Finally our ultimate goal is to carve out Competent, Confident, Compassionate and Creative physicians out of novices.  I am sure you will join with me in this journey.

Best wishes


Dr Vivek A Saoji

AHPE Official

Message from AHPE President 2020: Dr Arun Jamkar

Let me first profusely thank the Academy of Health Professions Educators (AHPE) for nominating me as President of this prestigious organisation that is tirelessly working for improving quality medical education across the country.

From the time of my tenure as Vice Chancellor of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), I have been passionately pursuing the implementation of competency-based medical education (CBME). We took several steps to start this reform in the MUHS and we had taken efforts to have faculty development in CBME under the guidance of Dr NG Patil. The MUHS was first to take curricular initiatives in competency-based medical education.

We need to congratulate the Board of Governors (BoG), Medical Council of India (MCI) for starting the long-awaited CBME programme in the MBBS course which was envisioned in the Vision 2015 document, and introducing reforms accordingly. The CBME committee of MCI under the chairmanship of Dr Avinash Supe has done an enormous job by creating the whole curriculum with all its microdetails. The MCI was able to start this programme in year 2019 in a phased manner. Because of the efforts of the committee, faculty development required for CBME is being done systematically through MCI-recognized nodal and regional centres all across the country.

I am happy that this dream and passion of all medical educationists across the country is being fulfilled. Now, it is the turn of us AHPE members, as the biggest pool of medical educationists in the country, to rededicate ourselves for effective implementation of CBME across the country.

We need to communicate to the BoG and the forthcoming National Medical commission to assure our assistance and co-operation for the implementation, especially once phase 2 and phase 3 (para-clinical and clinical subjects) will be introduced.

Recently, the BoG has declared the EXIT examination. The next important step will be to study and research assessment of medical graduates to thoroughly prepare for EXIT exam after 5 years. Research need to be done develop a model for the exam process, and convince legal experts and other concerned authorities for having multiple question paper-based exams at different centres across the country. We, as medical educationists, need to work on getting away from the recall system, and implement question papers which have questions which are creative and promote analytical skills.

Technology for implementing CBME as well as evaluation needs to introduced. India being a software nation, does not have a dearth of talent in this regard. Therefore, this challenge must be undertaken.

Students are our important stakeholders. We should start a Student Wing to get a 360° feedback from students for reforms in medical education and make our education system more student-centered.

Since we are an Academy of Health Professions Educators, we need to work towards developing interdisciplinary collaborations and dialogue, particularly with respect to technology, for dental, nursing, physiotherapy and AYUSH education.  

All this will continue to develop through AHPE webinars, newsletters, academic linkages, creating distance learning modules and strengthening the role and participation of Health Science Universities by involving their Vice Chancellors.

I am proud to have a dedicated Executive Committee and wish to thank them for the time they contribute to AHPE. With their support and an active AHPE membership, we need well-planned and coordinated efforts to convert this dream into a reality.

Dr Arun Jamkar

AHPE Official

Message from AHPE President 2019: Dr Nirmala Rege

Dear All,

It is my pleasure to write this presidential message on behalf of the Academy of Health Professions Educators (AHPE).  This organization, launched to further quality and relevance of health professions education, has completed six years this year.  I am proud that many of its founder members have contributed to the innovations in health professions education and participated in policy making decisions, that are evident in the changes observed in the curricula of various health professions in India.

This year, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has approved the new curriculum framed by the Medical Council of India (MCI). As you all aware, this is a competency-based undergraduate curriculum for the Indian Medical Graduate.  Many of you must have undergone training for the same in Basic and Advanced Courses held by MCI Nodal and Regional Centres. However, there is always a gap between training received in a protected environment conceptualizing activities that may happen in the future, and implementing what is learnt during in real life. All of us are approaching the situation with some anxiety, apprehension and loads of expectations from administrators, students and the society.  At the same time, various opportunities have opened up, and I witness the creativity of faculty members, as is evident through the discussions among various professional groups, conferences and workshops organised by various institutions.

The other development that has taken place is that the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill has been passed by both the houses of Parliament. Though it aims at providing a medical education system that guarantees availability of high quality medical professionals in adequate numbers to meet the needs of the country, there are certain points, like accreditation of medical institutions, uniformity in assessment of students at national level, and regulation of course fees in private colleges, that need further deliberations.

Though both the above developments are related to medical education, other disciplines of health professions are also making changes in their curricula to keep updated and abreast with the global developments in education.

I feel that in such a scenario, the role of a professional body like AHPE is very crucial. Such organizations should serve as a link between the regulatory body and the stakeholders, so that the changes that the regulatory body aspires to infuse in medical education can be facilitated. It should constantly encourage and initiate dialogue with the stakeholders understanding their problems and challenges, provide them the necessary support when required, solve their queries using expertise in the field, and communicate the same to the regulators so that necessary modifications can be done. It should promote collaborations among and outside health professions that have both, local and global dimensions. Together, we can transform health professions education to build tomorrow’s better world.

I am happy that AHPE is taking baby steps in that direction. This year some important topics in the new curriculum like disability competencies, self- directed learning, assessment in competency based learning, early clinical exposure etc. have been discussed through webinars, wherein direct one to one exchange of sharing was possible. AHPE also accepted a collaborative venture with Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, which has planned a National faculty development programme for curriculum reforms.  AHPE always provides a  window to the world of health professions education through its annual National Conference of the Health Professions Educators (NCHPE).

This year NCHPE 2019 will be organized by KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research (KAHER) University’s, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical college at Belgavi from  21- 23 November 2019. The theme is “Competency Based Medical Education: Transformative Learning:  From Theory to Practice”. The sessions of this conference, as in the past, will be interactive and will provide an opportunity for the participants to  advance their knowledge, share their viewpoints and present their research projects in the field of health professions education. I request you all to join in. I assure you that this conference will add value to your endeavours to enhance the quality of health professions education in your institution.

Finally, I want to express my gratitude to our Executive Committee members for the time they contribute to AHPE. Their services to the organization are voluntary but they are committed to the cause.  The diversity of perspectives that they bring to the activities helps AHPE meet its objectives and remain updated with emerging innovations in health professions education.

Thank you.

Nirmala Rege

AHPE Official

Message from President, AHPE 2018: Dr Himanshu V Pandya

Very warm greetings!

I write this message with immense sense of honour and pleasure. I take this opportunity to thank the members for reposing faith in me and bestowing the responsibility of leading this Academy.

India’s health system is facing a crisis of grave magnitude due to rising incidences of violence against health care staff. Over the past few years, articles have appeared in lay press and medical journals on this issue. Authors of these articles have cited various factors responsible behind this problem. They also propose various strategies including curricular changes to handle and prevent such situations. However messages on physicians’ groups on social media suggest that there is growing sense of cynicism in the medical community. This is indeed a worrying sign for the profession.

In a time when medicine in general and medical education in particular, finds itself under great stress, the profession needs to respond constructively through a new focus on professional identity of physicians. Over the last decade, experts in the field of medical education have made a strong case that professional identify formation needs to become the central focus in educating tomorrow’s doctors. This Academy can take a lead in supporting and spreading the growing movement for teaching of professionalism to ensure that members of the profession develop the identity that the public expects and the ideals of medicine demand. I wish you all the best in your endeavours to enhance the image of health professionals as it should be.

Dr Himanshu V Pandya

AHPE Official

Message from President AHPE 2017: Dr Thomas V Chacko

Warm Greetings from the President, AHPE!

It gives me great pleasure and I feel honoured by the trust you have reposed on me to be your President for the year 2017.

Being a voluntary Non-Government Organization, the success of the organization depends on the full-hearted support and contributions by members and the esteemed Executive Committee members of the AHPE to further the cause of improving the quality of Health Professions Education in India.

For this purpose a ‘Needs Assessment’ exercise was conducted to find out what the expectations of the HPE faculty are that they expect AHPE to deliver. Thanks to Dr. Anshu’s efforts at doing a qualitative analysis of the responses, the primary areas of focus were identified as Capacity building through Faculty Development Programs (including through the NCHPE and formation of Regional centers), making available a repository of evidence-based good practices through website and newsletters/ journal, producing guidelines and standards for measuring and improving quality of education through accreditation of master trainers, Faculty Development/ CPD programs etc. as well as development of criteria for recognizing efforts of teachers and rewarding them within institutions and across the regions/ country (Scholarship of Teaching and other types of educational scholarships).

Through leadership in these fields and generating the evidence, we can influence policy and do advocacy with regulatory and accrediting agencies related to HPE.  Various suggestions were also received as to how we can achieve this through formation of Special Interest Groups (SIG) in areas like competency based approach to education, distance/blended learning using IT resources, inter-professional education, educational research, program evaluation, student assessment including exit / licensing exams etc. When these SIGs come out with authoritative evidence-based recommendations that are content and context specific responding to local needs and get peer reviewed and approved by AHPE, it will serve as an authoritative resource for decision makers to arrive at policy decisions within the country.

I also encourage you to register for the NCHPE 2017 at Jorhat, Assam to enlarge your network of friends within the community of practice in India. Best wishes for success in all your academic endeavors in the coming months.

Dr Thomas V Chacko