The IMEX, International Medical Educators eXchange, programme started in 2006 as an initiative from a small group of experts in medical education: including Karen Mann from Halifax, Linda Snell from Montreal and Olle ten Cate from Utrecht, Peter McCrorie from London and Yvonne Steinert from Montreal. This group also worked on a paper describing the programme that later appeared in Medical Teacher (1). This initiative between medical schools in Europe and Canada was extended to the USA and Asia in 2018. The Institute for Medical Education, Medical Faculty in Bern, joined the network in 2023.
The network aims at providing an international orientation on medical education for senior faculty members in medical schools (2). The IML shares the visions of the program and are looking forward to contributing to the program aims: IMEX, as the name suggests, aims to facilitate international exchanges and collaborations among medical educators. The program focus on sharing best practices in medical education, fostering research collaborations, and promoting a global perspective in medical training.
The partners of the program (as of 2023)
- University Medical Center Utrecht - the Netherlands
Organizing unit: Center for Education, UMC Utrecht
IMEX board (chair): Professor Manon Kluijtmans, Center for Education at UMC Utrecht.
- Karolinska Institutet - Sweden
Organizing unit: Division of Medical Education
IMEX board: Anders Sonden MD PhD, Karolinska Institutet.
- MedStar Georgetown University & USUSH, USA
Organizing Unit: MedStar Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA, in collaboration with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUSH) Bethesda MD, USA
IMEX board: Professor Carrie Chen, Associate Dean of Assessment and Educational Scholarship at Georgetown University School of Medicine and Professor Steven Durning, Director, Center for Health Professions Education (CHPE), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
- DUKE-NUS Medical School - Singapore
Organizing Unit: Office of Academic and Clinical Development, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore
IMEX board: Dr. Scott Compton, PhD, Associate Dean Medical Education, Research and Evaluation.
- INSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION (IML), MEDICAL FACULTY UNIVERSITY OF BERN; SWITZERLAND
Organising Unit: Institute for Medical Education.
IMEX Board: Professor Sissel Guttormsen, director of the IML, and Professor Sören Huwendiek, Head of the Department of Assessment and Evaluation at the IML.
Twice a year, one of the participating schools organizes a week of faculty development activities for experienced medical educators from each school, including group discussions, short presentations, observations and active engagement in local education, one-on-one meetings with local faculty members, and many opportunities for in-depth discussion. (1)
The idea of the program is that intensive exchange between the partners foster new ideas, innovation and support curriculum developments and fruitful continuous development of medical education. Each member institution recruits competent and ambitions medical educators at their sites, typically 2 – 3, who are participating at the visits at all partner sites. Their program is completed when minimally three, maximally five consequtive sites visits have been completed. Experience shows that:
IMEX has established itself as an important additional faculty development opportunity for those medical educators who wish to develop and pursue a career in education. (1)
The IMLs vision by participating in the program
We are convinced that the IML, as also our Medical Faculty, profit from international collaboration and exchange in medical education. The challenges in medical education, are recognised to be similar across institutions and countries (3). Yet the solutions to support high quality medical education are manifold, and therefore, international exchange among experts in this field is so important.
The IML has 50 years of experience in promoting high quality medical education, covering several areas as assessment, learning and teaching, professional development, and digitalisation. We have much to share, and we also want to continuously learn. In Switzerland, and in Bern, the IML is embedded in a context of (interprofessional) medical education with many partners that also can profit from exchange within the IMEX Program. It is our intention to make the program also into a benefit for our close partners.
Our first program visitors to join the tour will be Sören Huwendiek and Christoph Berendonk, both from the IML. If this mission catches your interest, maybe you are next?
- Olle ten Cate, Karen Mann, Peter McCrorie, Sari Ponzer, Linda Snell & Yvonne Steinert (2014). Faculty development through international exchange: The IMEX initiative, Medical Teacher, 36:7, 591-595, DOI: 10.3109/0142159X.2014.899685
- Mennin, S. Ten Global Challenges in Medical Education: Wicked Issues and Options for Action. Med.Sci.Educ. 31 (Suppl 1), 17–20 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-021-01404-w