Currently, it is estimated that 10% of the healthcare workforce in the UAE is composed of UAE nationals. Despite the large-scale importation of physicians, access to skilled health professions is inconsistent. Khalifa University College of Medicine and Health Sciences is the first medical school developed in the city of Abu Dhabi and the first 4 tier post baccalaureate MD program in the UAE. It intends to address the economic, social, and developmental priorities of the country (UAE Vision 2021: United in Ambition and Determination). The aims of the MD program are to increase the number of highly qualified physicians. This first MD cohort is comprised of approximately 50% UAE nationals
Professionalism forms a key part of core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs), which students require on entering medical education and in residency programs.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) lists the EPAs that all graduate medical students are expected to achieve on completion of medical school. There are 13 EPAs and EPA 9, “collaborate as a member of an interprofessional team” is assessed in group work activities. Competency-based education involves aligning the EPAs required for practice with the activities in the classroom. Medical students perceive the didactic lecture to be the least effective learning tool within lecture time.
Active learning exercises such as teamwork, self-reflection, and problem-based activities engage learners and improves their motivation. Today’s medical students are millennial learners raised on rapidly evolving technologies. A “flipped classroom” approach can be used to focus teaching activity on what the student actively does. Theoretical benefits of a flipped classroom center on social constructivism and active learning embedding Bloom’s higher level of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
This educational research project aims to assess the effectiveness of the flipped classroom approach and collaborative- and team-based learning activities with the first cohort of medical students on the MD program. Courses MDBS 600 Molecules, Genes and Cells and MDBS 605 Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, both contain a myriad of pedagogical methods of instruction: didactic lectures, flipped classrooms, classroom-based discussions, and application exercises. The project also aims to assess the effectiveness of these activities through measurements of student performance in course assessments, National Board Medical Examinations (NBME) course examinations, and student feedback questionnaires and qualitatively through student interviews.