Browsing by Author "Couper, I."
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- ItemCore competencies required by toxicology graduates in order to function effectively in a Poisons Information Centre : a Delphi study(Elsevier, 2020) Marks, C. J.; Louw, A. J. N.; Couper, I.Introduction: The availability of trained Medical Toxicologists in developing countries is limited and education in Medical Toxicology remains inadequate. The lack of toxicology services contributes to a knowledge gap in the management of poisonings. A need existed to investigate the core competencies required by toxicology graduates to effectively operate in a Poisons Information Centre. The aim of this study was to obtain consensus from an expert group of health care workers on these core competencies. This was done by making use of the Delphi technique. Methodology: The Delphi survey started with a set of carefully selected questions drawn from various sources including a literature review and exploration of existing curricula. To capture the collective opinion of experts in South Africa, Africa and also globally, three different groups were invited to participate in the study. To build and manage the questionnaire, the secure Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) web platform was used. Results: A total of 134 competencies were selected for the three rounds and in the end consensus was reached on 118 (88%) items. Panel members agreed that 113 (96%) of these items should be incorporated in a Medical Toxicology curriculum and five (4%) should be excluded. Discussion: All participants agreed that effective communication is an essential skill for toxicology graduates. The curriculum can address this problem by including effective pedagogy to enhance oral and written communication skills. Feedback from panellists indicated that the questionnaires were country-specific and not necessarily representative of all geographical locations. This is an example of the ‘battle of curriculum design’ where the context in which the curriculum will be used, will determine the content. Conclusion: The Delphi method, based on three iterative rounds and feedback from experts, was effective in reaching consensus on the learning outcomes of a Medical Toxicology curriculum. The study results will ultimately improve education in Medical Toxicology.
- ItemOutcomes for family medicine postgraduate training in South Africa(Medpharm Publications, 2012) Couper, I.; Mash, B.; Smith, S.; Schweitzer, B.After 1994, the post-apartheid government decided that primary health care and the district health system would be the cornerstone of their new health policy. As a consequence of this, the academic departments of Family Medicine and primary care recognised the need for a nationally agreed set of training outcomes that were more aligned with these new priorities within the public sector.
- ItemA peer evaluation of the community-based education programme for medical students at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences: a southern African Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) collaboration(Health and Medical Publishing Group, 2017) Michaels, D.; Couper, I.; Mogodi, M. S.; Hakim, J. G.; Talib, Z.; Mipando, M. H.; Chidzonga, M. M.; Matsika, A.; Simuyemba, M.Background. The University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS), Harare, which has a long tradition of community-based education (CBE), has not been evaluated since 1991. An innovative approach was used to evaluate the programme during 2015. Objectives. To evaluate the CBE programme, using a peer-review model of evaluation and simultaneously introducing and orientating participating colleagues from other medical schools in southern Africa to this review process. Methods. An international team of medical educators, convened through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative, worked collaboratively to modify an existing peer-review assessment method. Data collection took the form of pre-visit surveys, on-site and field-visit interviews with key informants, a review of supporting documentation and a post-review visit. Results. All 5 years of the medical education curriculum at UZCHS included some form of CBE that ranged from community exposure in the 1st year to district hospital-based clinical rotations during the clinical years. Several strengths, including the diversity of community-based activities and the availability of a large teaching platform, were identified. However, despite the expression of satisfaction with the programme, the majority of students indicated that they do not plan to work in rural areas in Zimbabwe. Several key recommendations were offered, central to which was strengthening the academic co-ordination of the programme and curriculum renewal in the context of the overall MB ChB curriculum. Conclusion. This evaluation demonstrated the value of peer review to bring a multidimensional, objective assessment to a CBE programme.
- ItemSouth-South Cooperation in health professional education : a literature review(Health and Medical Publishing Group, 2017) Du Toit, L.; Couper, I.; Peersman, W.; De Maeseneer, J.In the literature on the evolution of funding approaches there is criticism of traditional funding strategies and the promotion of inclusive models, such as South-South Cooperation (SSC) and triangular models. The latter are felt to have a number of advantages. This article has four broad objectives: (i) to present a literature review on the evolution of Southern approaches to development co-operation; (ii) to indicate examples of current co-operative programmes in health and health professional education in Africa; (iii) to assess the advantages and disadvantages of these models; and (iv) to mention some emerging issues in monitoring and evaluation. The Boolean logic approach was used to search for applicable literature within three topic layers. Searches were conducted using PubMed, PLoS and other accessible databases. An initial draft of the article was presented to a group of academics and researchers at the Flemish Inter-University Council (VLIR-UOS)-Primafamed annual workshop held in August 2010 in Swaziland. Comments and suggestions from the group were included in later versions of the article. It is important to note that the existence of various funding models implemented by a variety of actors makes it difficult to measure their effects. In health and health professional education, however, SSC and triangular models of aid provide conditions for more effective programming through their focus on participation and long-term involvement. With an eye towards evaluating programmes, a number of salient issues are emerging. The importance of context is highlighted.