ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers

FAIMER Fellows infographic
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FAIMER offers fellowship programs for health professions educators through the online International FAIMER Institute and 11 FAIMER Regional Institutes in Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Health professions educators who complete one of these Institutes are skilled in implementing curricular improvements at their home institutions and become outstanding local and national resources and leaders for improving health professions education. FAIMER Fellows form an international network of more than 2,000 health professions educators representing nearly 60 countries with the ultimate goal of improving world health. This is the story of Dr. Gang Xin:

Dr. Gang XinName: Gang Xin, MD, PhD
Title: Professor, Microbiology and Immunology; Associate Director, Center for Faculty Development
Institution: Shantou University Medical College, China
FAIMER Fellow: China Medical University-FAIMER Regional Institute (CMU-FRI) 2015

FAIMER Experience Was an Epiphany for Award-Winning Educator

Whether you call them epiphanies or “aha moments,” Dr. Gang Xin experienced several of them, both as a FAIMER Fellow and later as a faculty member for the International FAIMER Institute and Regional Institutes in China.

Dr. Xin is a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Director of the Center for Faculty Development at Shantou University Medical College in Shantou, Guangdong Province, China. She applied for a FAIMER fellowship with the China Medical University-FAIMER Regional Institute (CMU-FRI) in 2015 at the recommendation of a colleague at Shantou University, Dr. Zhongfang Zhang, a 2013 CMU-FRI Fellow. Dr. Xin hoped to learn more about medical education and faculty development from the experience, but what she gained was an entirely different perspective on teaching and learning.

Earlier this year, while participating as a faculty member with the Southern Medical University-FAIMER Regional Institute (SMU-FRI) based in Guangzhou, China, Dr. Xin met a second-year Fellow who reminded her of herself when she was in the program. The Fellow told Dr. Xin that FAIMER changed her perspective on education from focusing on teachers teaching to students learning.

“Education should focus on the students, not the teacher,” Dr. Xin said. “I think I’m just like her. I changed a lot. I changed to be a student-centered, outcomes-based educator and I’m committed to spreading these ideas to more educators,” Dr. Xin said.

One of the requirements of the fellowship is to develop an Education Innovation Project that is endorsed by the Fellow’s institution and becomes the focal point of the application of their learning in the program. Dr. Xin’s Education Innovation Project involved implementing a flipped classroom approach in a course that integrated microbiology, parasitology, pharmacology, pathology, and the study of infectious diseases into one curriculum. The goal of the project was to enhance the active learning in the course and improve the learning outcomes of the students.

“Actually, at that time, what I wanted was to complete the trial, but to my great surprise, within a two-year fellowship, I learned how to design medical research and how to implement and expand the project,” Dr. Xin said. “So, I published an associated article in a medical research journal, and this project was also applied to the education reform project of Guangdong Province and it was the only outstanding project that was concluded that year in my college so I’m very proud of this.”

Dr. Xin continues to be honored for her work as an educator. Earlier this year, she received the Best Teacher Award announced by the Department of Education of Guangdong Province.

“I always remember that the FAIMER Institute helps us to be change agents as medical educators,” Dr. Xin said. “I always try my best to be a change agent, to change my department and my university.

“It’s a great honor for me to be awarded the Best Teacher Award for Guangdong Province,” she added. “I think it’s like a confirmation for my previous work and inspiration for the future. The award encourages me to continue my dream to be a medical educator and to help more teachers.”

ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers

FAIMER Fellows infographic
Click to enlarge

FAIMER offers fellowship programs for health professions educators through the online International FAIMER Institute and 11 FAIMER Regional Institutes in Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Health professions educators who complete one of these Institutes are skilled in implementing curricular improvements at their home institutions and become outstanding local and national resources and leaders for improving health professions education. FAIMER Fellows form an international network of more than 2,000 health professions educators representing nearly 60 countries with the ultimate goal of improving world health. This is the story of Dr. Josè Frantz:

Dr. Josè FrantzName: Josè Frantz, Ph.D.
Title: Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation
Institution: University of the Western Cape, South Africa
FAIMER Fellow: Sub-Saharan Africa FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) 2008

Dr. Josè Frantz Shares Her Passion for Developing Herself and Others

Dr. Josè Frantz has a gift for mentoring people and helping them meet their full potential. Evidence of that gift is reflected in the number of master’s and doctorate students she has advised over the years and the national honors she has received.

“I think I’ve always had a passion for developing others. That has always been core to what I am and what I do,” said Dr. Frantz, who serves as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dr. Frantz was a member of the inaugural class of 16 Fellows from the Sub-Saharan Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) in South Africa, which was founded in 2008. Clearly, that passion for developing others extends to developing herself.

Reflecting on her experience as a SAFRI Fellow, Dr. Frantz said she was inspired by the global perspectives of the international faculty who taught in the program, the passion of the faculty for developing others, and the positive approach of the Institute faculty and Fellows to sharing ideas.

“You can’t say that one program … can have an impact and change your whole life, but I do think that one program like SAFRI can plant the seed and other circumstances will water that same seed and that’s how it will grow. For me, I can really pinpoint back to SAFRI which unearthed something in me that was always there.”

According to Dr. Frantz, one of those seeds was planted in 2010 when—serving as head of the Physiotherapy Department at the University of the Western Cape—she participated in the International FAIMER Institute in Philadelphia, not as a Fellow but as a faculty member.

“I think it was John (Norcini) who spoke to me, he was the head of FAIMER at the time, and he said, ‘I just want to tell you that you’re going to be the next dean of your faculty,’ and I said to him ‘that has not even entered my head,’” Dr. Frantz said. “That was 2010, and in 2013, I became the Dean of our faculty of Community and Health Sciences. I realized the power of conversation and the power of implanting positive ideas. What you see can happen in people’s heads where they might not have thought about it before and it comes to reality.”

Dr. Frantz’s career has taken off since her initial experience with SAFRI in 2008. Not only did she become Dean of the faculty for her school, she also served as Deputy Dean of Research within the faculty. In 2017, she received the South African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE) Distinguished Educators Award; and in 2016, she received the Champion of Research Capacity Development and Transformation at South African Higher Education Institutions from the National Research Foundation.

“In Africa, when we talk about health professions education, and you say that you are a SAFRI Fellow or a FAIMER Fellow, it really gives you that credibility and acknowledgement that you are an expert in your field,” Dr. Frantz said. “I think it’s really been a good experience because in our field (of physical therapy), we’re clinicians, so coming into education, people may wonder what background you have in terms of education. Having been through SAFRI and the FAIMER experience, it kind of gives you that credibility as an educator.”

ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers

J-1 Duration of Status Infographic
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International medical graduates account for about one quarter of all physicians in graduate medical education in the United States. Within that cohort there are more than 12,500 foreign national physicians, sponsored by ECFMG on the J-1 visa, providing critical health care services and cultural diversity. ECFMG is designated by the U.S. Department of State as the sole BridgeUSA sponsor for J-1 exchange visitor physicians enrolled in accredited programs of graduate medical education or training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, J-1 physicians have played a vital role on health care teams that are stretched to the limit. This is the story of Dr. Uttara Koul:

Dr. Uttara KoulName: Dr. Uttara Koul
Home Country: India
Training Site: Rush University Medical Center, Illinois
Specialty: Neurocritical Care
Journeys in Medicine Blog Post: Doctors with Borders

“I know without a doubt that our world will survive this pandemic. Lessons will be learned, and we will wear the scars of the fight like medals.”

— Dr. Uttara Koul

The ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers series brings the work of ECFMG|FAIMER to life through the stories of the people we serve.

ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers

J-1 Duration of Status Infographic
Click to enlarge

International medical graduates account for about one quarter of all physicians in graduate medical education in the United States. Within that cohort there are more than 12,500 foreign national physicians, sponsored by ECFMG on the J-1 visa, providing critical health care services and cultural diversity. ECFMG is designated by the U.S. Department of State as the sole BridgeUSA sponsor for J-1 exchange visitor physicians enrolled in accredited programs of graduate medical education or training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, J-1 physicians have played a vital role on health care teams that are stretched to the limit. This is the story of Dr. Omesh Toolsie:

Dr. Omesh ToolsieName: Dr. Omesh Toolsie
Home Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Training Site: Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts
Specialty: Sleep Medicine
Journeys in Medicine Blog Post: Critical Care Training in NYC, as COVID-19 Doctor and Patient

“I consider it an honor to have served as a critical care fellow in NYC alongside some of the best people I have ever worked with. I am a stronger intensivist and a better human being for my experience at Montefiore, one that I will never forget. What this ordeal has taught me is that strong and effective leadership, with genuine teamwork, can weather any storm.”

— Dr. Omesh Toolsie

The ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers series brings the work of ECFMG|FAIMER to life through the stories of the people we serve.

ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers

J-1 Duration of Status Infographic
Click to enlarge

International medical graduates account for about one quarter of all physicians in graduate medical education in the United States. Within that cohort, there are more than 12,500 foreign national physicians, sponsored by ECFMG on the J-1 visa, providing critical health care services and cultural diversity. ECFMG is designated by the U.S. Department of State as the sole BridgeUSA sponsor for J-1 exchange visitor physicians enrolled in accredited programs of graduate medical education or training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, J-1 physicians have played a vital role on health care teams that are stretched to the limit. This is the story of Dr. Shreya Doshi:

Dr. Shreya DoshiName: Dr. Shreya Doshi
Home Country: India
Training Site: Sinai Hospital, Maryland
Specialty: Pediatrics
Journeys in Medicine Blog Post: Is Self-Care on Your To-Do List?

“I wanted to come here because I wanted to pursue training in a different environment, have new experiences, and new training opportunities, and also work with people from a diverse background.”

— Dr. Shreya Doshi

The ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers series brings the work of ECFMG|FAIMER to life through the stories of the people we serve.

ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers

J-1 Duration of Status Infographic
Click to enlarge

International medical graduates account for about one quarter of all physicians in graduate medical education in the United States. Within that cohort there are more than 12,500 foreign national physicians, sponsored by ECFMG on the J-1 visa, providing critical health care services and cultural diversity. ECFMG is designated by the U.S. Department of State as the sole BridgeUSA sponsor for J-1 exchange visitor physicians enrolled in accredited programs of graduate medical education or training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, J-1 physicians have played a vital role on health care teams that are stretched to the limit. This is the story of Dr. Wail Yar:

Dr. Wail YarName: Dr. Wail Yar
Home Country: Saudi Arabia
Training Site: Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
Specialty: Sleep Medicine
Journeys in Medicine Blog Post: Engineering Medicine Inside Out

“Five years ago, I decided to come to the U.S. to get a better learning experience and high-quality training. During these years I realized that what makes education and training in the U.S. unique is the diversity and inclusions within the community. Accepting your colleagues when you know that they came from a different country, culture, language, and beliefs, is what makes this country’s social fabric outstanding and exceptional.”

— Dr. Wail Yar

The ECFMG|FAIMER Storytellers series brings the work of ECFMG|FAIMER to life through the stories of the people we serve.