A timely new forum for health professions education

A number of journals deals with teaching and education of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. Why do we at IGHPE think the time has come to start a new platform? The introductory video gives insights into our motives for this endeavor. In addition, in their editorial IGHPE’s editors-in-chief Dr. Sheikh and Dr. Dzau give compelling reasons for setting up a new forum. Here I would like to take up some of their points and add a few more.

    • The reports of the Lancet commission (2010) and the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Medicine (2015) suggested profound changes in health professional education (HPE)—among them transformative thinking (instead of pure knowledge input and application) in interdependent contexts (by dismantling specialist ‘silos’)—to be able to deal with the challenges of an increased disease burden and ever more complex clinical pictures of diseases. To achieve these changes, technological, curricular and many other types of innovations are necessary. Since there is no forum genuinely dedicated to such innovations, we at IGHPE wish to give them a public platform for discussion and networking.
    • IGHPE’s editors-in-chief refer to innovations that are “globally informed and locally relevant.” The local-global relationship influences many areas of today’s healthcare. Local diseases can—and did—develop into global epidemiological problems. Smart solutions in one country may be adopted by other countries. Many health professionals are globally mobile now, seeking training and recognition abroad; thus, local HPE programs should be matched to each other by accreditation processes—without leveling them, or disrespecting local resources and needs. Globally, on the other hand, there are higher demands for and on health professionals concomitant with novel global trends in biosciences and information technology. IGHPE offers a forum for thinking that is aware of the local/global relationship and tension, and that offers solutions and ideas that can be deployed at both levels.
    • Third, to contribute to IGHPE, we invite researchers in HPE as well as professionals across the healthcare disciplines to use our platform to publish their ideas. Great ideas for HPE improvement and innovation coming from practitioners in healthcare institutions may not reach the ‘full-fledged’ level of scholarly research but definitely merit discussion. While we wish to maintain the best possible quality of content, secured by coherent and lucid presentation, IGHPE also intends to publish innovative ideas from practitioners that led or are able to lead to significant improvements in HPE (interested blog visitors are referred to our author guidelines). This also means that audio files and videos are welcome vehicles for content, provided they clearly deliver their ‘message’.
    • Last, IGHPE offers full ‘platinum’ open access: it is free to read and to publish, excluding neither readers (by subscription fees) nor authors (by ‘article processing charges’ or similar). In my commentary to the 2015 IGHPE volume, I write more about the opportunities for (and dangers of) open access publishing in healthcare. It may suffice to say that for IGHPE as a global innovation forum, it is crucial not to erect financial barriers. This helps professionals and practitioners from all parts of the world share their ideas to design and realize a HPE that suits our time.

Mirko von Elstermann

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