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Interdisciplinary Summer Institute Explores Innovations in Health Sciences Education

Participants from the 2017 Interdisciplinary Summer Institute

Participants from the 2017 Interdisciplinary Summer Institute.

June 30, 2017

A transdisciplinary group of health professionals from Thailand recently visited campus for a summer institute aimed at sharing knowledge, best practices, and innovative teaching methods and approaches in health science education.

The 11th International Interdisciplinary Summer Institute, hosted by the Global Health Office, welcomed visitors from Thailand’s Praboromarajchanok Institute for Health Workforce Development (PIHWD), Ministry of Public Health (MPH) to participate in an intense two-week program.

The institute’s main focus, was on innovations in education, health services, and community settings. Sessions were led by expert faculty from health sciences at McMaster and highlighted a range of issues. New additions to the program included the exploration of indigenous health, large group innovations, and human resources in health research and global health.

Participants shared perspectives from a variety of backgrounds, including dentistry, pharmacy, traditional Thai medicine, medical technology, and nursing. The group also heard from a pharmacist, who is also a graduate from the MSc Global Health program, working in Canada to improve health care access for migrant workers. The issue of migratory population is an emerging transnational topic and resonated with participants.

“Our aim is to go back to Thailand and prepare an Interdisciplinary Institute, similar to this one, for our colleagues and lecturers in the Ministry of Public Health,” explains Patcharee Pratumyam, a doctor of traditional Thai medicine, who goes on to say that the group also plans to create an educational handbook for first-year students in all health professions, to “equip them with critical thinking and effective communication skills.”

*The Summer Institute is an annual event, hosted by McMaster's Global Health Office, to demonstrate our commitment to strengthening international partnerships and offering programs and experiences that are collaborative and global in nature. Since the first institute in 2007, McMaster has hosted over 120 health professionals from PIHWD.