Many of you will have become aware over the last few days of news reports and interviews with the Head of Department of Dermatology and Skin Science regarding teaching and learning in this specialty. As we go through the necessary process of the MD Undergraduate curriculum renewal, it is both appropriate and mandatory that we review the content and effectiveness of our educational delivery and address the most appropriate mechanisms of such delivery for our students and the patients that we serve.
In this context, the Faculty of Medicine has established a working group to examine teaching in Dermatology to examine the most effective means of delivery of the curriculum in this important specialty. This working group is in session and is advisory to the Executive Associate Dean of Education. Members of the working group include the Head of the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, education program leaders, faculty members and student representation so that we can ensure that their important needs are satisfied. For the avoidance of doubt, the Faculty has not yet made any decision regarding the necessary content or the most effective mode of delivery.
The process of curriculum renewal will inevitably raise questions regarding some parts of the content of our educational programmes and certainly, there will be some give and take. We are extremely grateful for the long hours of thought and effort that so many of you have put in to the collective process of producing a new and innovative curriculum. In moving forward in a responsible and responsive manner, it is crucial for such working groups to be given the time and opportunity to complete their deliberations unencumbered.
We expect that the working group on Dermatology will produce recommendations in due course and we are committed to sharing the recommendations with our students, program leaders and faculty members promptly to provide clarity. We recognize that as we continue to roll out curricular renewal some important questions may remain. For example, how do we deliver specialty and sub-specialty education most appropriately?; how can we use educational tools most effectively to deliver education in an innovative way?; how do we work in a multi and inter-disciplinary way most effectively? Such questions are not unique to UBC and many global universities have found solutions and innovations to resolve many of these issues.
Most importantly, in the context of our Strategic Plan: Building the Future, we need to think about how we can enhance increased training of specialists, and indeed sub-specialists, where the demands of equity of patient care mandate this need. In this context, we can also think about how we provide the next generation of physician educators.
These and many more questions will be asked of us in the coming months and years, and we know that faculty members in this outstanding Faculty of Medicine will continue to rise to these challenges in a manner that reflects both our corporate and social responsibilities. Once again, thanks to all for the continued commitment to excellence in education.
Dermot Kelleher, MD, FRCP, FRCPI, FMedSci
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
The University of British Columbia