Introduction: The Academic Medicine Education Institute (AM∙EI), jointly established by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS) and Singapore Healthcare Services (SingHealth), is a newly formed health professions education academy designed to cultivate best education practices and create a community of health professions educators. To achieve the aims of AM∙EI, the needs of SingHealth educators have to be understood. Therefore, this study was carried out to assess educators’ perceptions towards the current education climate and their academic needs.Materials and Methods: A 28-item questionnaire consisting of free-response, Likert-type and ranking questions was developed. The questionnaire was electronically distributed to 200 medical and nursing educators, and made available to attendees of the 2012 Singhealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress through hardcopies. Results: A total of 150 completed questionnaires were received (94 from electronic survey and 56 from Congress). Five themes emerged from the analysis of responses to free-response questions: 1) faculty development, 2) development of a community of educators, 3) recognition for educational efforts, 4) institutional support, and 5) better communication about SingHealth educational activities. Respondents were in highest agreement with the statements (rating of 3.7 out of 5): “The SingHealth education programmes are high quality”, “New learning or teaching methods are welcomed in this institution/hospital”, and “An academic appointment is important to me”. The competencies that respondents felt to be the most important were facilitating discussions, presentation skills, and providing feedback (respective means = 5.1, 5, 5 of 7). Conclusion: This needs assessment provided us with important insights regarding SingHealth medical educators’ perceptions of their education environment and established key priorities for the AM∙EI’s programming efforts.
In 2010, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS) and Singapore Healthcare Services (SingHealth) launched an initiative to improve the lives of patients by combining their individual strengths to become an integrated academic healthcare cluster. This new academic healthcare cluster has a mission to provide outstanding clinical service, discover and promote better ways to care for patients through research and education. At the same time, increasing numbers of medical students had been rotating through SingHealth clinics, making high-quality education practices a priority. To meet educational goals, Duke-NUS together with SingHealth formed the Academic Medicine Education Institute (AM∙EI) to function as a health professions education academy for the healthcare cluster. Our task in AM∙EI was to incorporate educational best practices to support and develop all aspects of education across a wide spectrum of healthcare educators, including physicians, nurses, allied healthcare professionals, and administrators.
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