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Reforms of health science programs in Germany, Switzerland and South Africa
MHB and FGW host international LOOOP Symposium
Neuruppin, 25 September 2023
The Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane (MHB) and the Brandenburg Faculty of Health Sciences (FGW) jointly hosted the international LOOOP Symposium for the first time. Debates centered on the scheduled reforms of health science programs in Germany, Switzerland and South Africa.
LOOOP stands for “Learning Opportunities, Objectives and Outcomes Platform”. The international research network in the field of education primarily seeks to develop, implement and evaluate validated concepts with the aim to draft high-quality curricula and make efficient use of existing resources. This focus includes student education as well as advanced and further training.
Founded in 2004, the LOOOP network is since April 2023 coordinated by FGW and MHB. It is currently working on a revision of about 180 study programs from 28 countries and also conducts research in the field. Approximately 100 participants from 43 universities in nine countries attended 26 pertinent presentations and discussion rounds of eight hours in total that were opened by the German faculty conference of medical schools. For detailed online information on agenda and presentation slides see here. The international online LOOOP Forum was recently made accessible to members in order to consolidate the symposium results. The LOOOP Symposium 2023 was the first to be organized in complete hybrid format, in collaboration with the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin which hosted the third day of the event on its premises. This year the scheduled revision of health science programs in Germany, Switzerland and South Africa was in the focus of discussions. Prof. Olaf Ahlers, director of the MHB Institute of Health Science Education Research, underlines the imminent challenges to German medical schools in particular, due to the announced revision of licensing regulations for physicians which will take up many internationally established concepts, such as practice-oriented learning with patient contacts right from the start, inter-professional training, or the concept of ‘Entrustable Professional Activities”.
Numerous symposium attendants from South Africa and Switzerland in particular presented research findings related to these topics and started an exchange with German medical schools. German faculties shared their experience with the above-mentioned concepts and described their preparations for the imminent revision of licensing regulations. The MHB presented its own programs in medicine, psychotherapy and dental medicine where many of the novel concepts have already been incorporated. MHB president Prof. Hans-Uwe Simon was highly pleased with the lively discussions and the extremely positive feedback from all participants despite the short preparation period: “Standing ovations following the last session were a clear sign that the considerable organizational effort was worthwhile.”
Prof. Olaf Ahlers felt encouraged to further pursue the exceptional and pioneering role which the MHB and the FGW have been playing in revising medical education in Germany.
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Olaf Ahlers
Institut für Gesundheitswissenschaftliche Ausbildungsforschung
Fakultät für Gesundheitswissenschaften Brandenburg
Medizinische Hochschule Brandenburg
Fehrbelliner Str. 38