2018 Conference

Sawubona, Namaste, Warm Greetings and Welcome to our forthcoming SAAHE Conference.

SAAHE-KZN is delighted to extend a warm and special invitation to you to attend the 11th scientific meeting of the South African Association of Health Educationalists to be held at the Gateway Hotel in Umhlanga from 27 – 30 June 2018.

The theme for this conference : “Deconstructed, decentralised, decolonised discourses and debates: Widening our horizon” is open to your interpretation as you relate it to your specific area/aspect/expertise of health professions education.

Proposals are invited from all with an interest in any topic related to medical and healthcare professions education related to undergraduate/basic training, postgraduate/specialist training, professional development/continuing medical education and scholarship.

In addition to the thought-provoking plenary sessions from international speakers and interactive symposia, the main SAAHE conference programme from 28-30 June is about YOU presenting and sharing your own work and expertise. Abstracts may be submitted in a range of formats including Workshops, Short Communications, Posters, PechaKucha.™

We look forward to welcoming you to Durban ‘the warmest place to be.’


Deconstructing Professional Competence– What, Who, How and why are we assessing?”

Prof Cees van der Vleuten, Maastricht University, The Netherlands 

To better prepare learners for the needs of health care, education is rapidly moving towards outcomes and competencies, including an emphasis on self-directed learning as a basis for life-long learning. To be successful in making this transition, assessment strategies need to change. These changes include the assessment of behavioural skills, the focus on feedback, the use of narrative assessment information, more longitudinal assessment and monitoring, and supporting learners in their self-directed learning. Curriculum wide assessment strategies such as programmatic assessment will gain popularity. With such a holistic approach to assessment new radically different pathways are possible.


“Crossing Boundaries: Discourses and Debates to Widen Our Horizons”

 Dr Glenda H. Eoyang, Human Systems Dynamics Institute, Minnesota

It is easy to see that collaboration is the pathway to effective deconstruction, decentralization, and decolonization. Creating collaborative discourse and debate across difference is not so easy. Racial and cultural divides disrupt teaching, learning, and care in rural and urban settings. Tensions between academic and clinical settings disrupt student experience and development. Worn out traditions and difficult relationships disrupt personal and professional performance.

Until we are able to work through our differences, we will remain stuck with intractable problems in all facets of life and work. Our students, patients, professional relationships, institutions, and society will continue to suffer.  Human systems dynamics offers an alternative. In this session, Glenda Eoyang, founder of the field and international consultant, shares five principles for building collaborative relationships to widen horizons for you and your colleagues in health professions education.  You will: 

            Discover new ways to see, understand, and influence wicked problems. 

            Develop concepts and skills to widen your horizons. 

            Apply what you learn to take action on a challenge you face today. 

            Build a foundation for collaborative action in the future. 


“Deconstructing Decolonisation/Decoloniality in Health Professions Education”

Prof Elelwani Ramugondo, UCT, South Africa

The term ‘decolonisation’ has seen significant prominence in South Africa,and a resurgence globally since the RhodesMustFall and FeesMustFall moments.  It is a term that carries significant hope for some, yet many myths have been created to scare off others. Such myths need to be debunked or exposed as attempts to protect the ‘status quo’. Within health sciences, it is important to deconstruct both decolonisation and the ‘status quo’.  In this paper, I will share some reflections about the meaning of decolonisation, while debunking some myths about it. Borrowing from Lewis Gordon ’s idea about disciplinary decadence, the paper will expose how at times we ‘cash in’ on the burden of disease and make choices that sustain lies about health and disease.  A key lesson to be shared in the paper pertains to the opportunity offered by the decolonisation/decoloniality discourse that emerged during the #RhodesMustFall moment at the University of Cape Town, deepening our conversations towards meaningful academic transformation. These conversations troubled the idea of ‘the discipline’, and exposed some of the unintentional and often limiting conceptions of ‘the student’.  In order to concretize this key lesson, an example from a curriculum change workshop, conceptualized by Dr Kasturi Behari-Leak, will be shared.  There can be no escape from the interlocutory work of the academy, with all its problematics that have us even before we start to speak within disciplines, and continue to haunt us even as we pretend not to speak. 


 “Quality and Other Assurances with Accreditation and Recognition”

Prof WW Pinsky. President and Chief Executive Officer of ECFMG and Chair of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education (FAIMER)

A formal system of accreditation is essential to ensuring the quality of medical education, the resulting physicians, and the care these physicians will provide. For such a system to be meaningful, it must be based on universally accepted criteria while at the same time embracing the local knowledge and expertise that will ensure relevance to local health care needs. In 2010, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) announced a future requirement for medical school accreditation for international physicians who seek ECFMG Certification to enter the U.S. health care system. In the years that followed, ECFMG’s Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) supported development of a system that would satisfy this requirement. Today, the resulting Recognition Programme of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) offers centralized recognition of accrediting agencies that allows decentralized accreditation of medical schools. This plenary will review WFME’s Recognition Program and its benefits, the roles of ECFMG and FAIMER in stimulating international accreditation efforts, and plans for implementing ECFMG’s medical school accreditation requirement, which takes effect in 2023.



“ASSAf Consensus Study Report: Reconceptualising Health Professions Education for the Improved Health of the Nation”

Prof S Essack, ASSAF Representative



“Decentralised Training Discourses Health Professions Training in South Africa”

South Africa needs to adapt its Health Sciences education because:

  • Graduates need to be better equipped to serve the communities in which they will work
  • There needs to be a more equitable distribution of where workers are employed
  • Many more students need to be accepted for training
  • Training needs to be more widely distributed to take advantage of previously unconsidered venues

Decentralised Training is a system whereby these issues are being addressed but the ethos of this education strategy is not yet accepted nationally.

The symposium of 1½ hours will include 5 speakers giving short talks on their experiences of being part of the Decentralised Training programmes already in place.

They will give their views on how successful or otherwise they have found the system and what they would like to see changed, improved or retained. There will be adequate time allocated for the audience to participate in the dialogue and it is the intention of the conference that exchanges will be welcome and robust.