Steps towards Updating the Curriculum and Teaching Methods in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology in Mongolia

Type Journal Article - Journal of Nursing and Care
Title Steps towards Updating the Curriculum and Teaching Methods in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology in Mongolia
Volume 5
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Background: Medical education in Mongolia faces many challenges in terms of staff capacity, large student
numbers, and limited access to clinical experience. The Government of Mongolia has placed a high priority on
reducing maternal and infant mortality, necessitating improvements to the quality of medical training, ensuring a
highly skilled health workforce is produced and maintained. In 2014, a team of academic staff from Sydney Medical
School were appointed by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to assist in reviewing and updating the medical
student curriculum in obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatology in accordance with international best practice. The
first phase involved a visit from a senior delegation from Mongolia, including representatives from the Mongolian
National University of Medical Sciences (MNUMS), UNFPA and the Mongolian Ministry of Health to Sydney. The
week long programme was designed to demonstrate best practice in obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatology
undergraduate medical education; and display modern teaching practices.
Methods: Course design included demonstration and participation in a four station Structured, Clinical, Objective,
Reference, problem-oriented, Integrated, and Organised (SCORPIO); observation of a Clinical Reasoning Session
(CRS); demonstration and participation in a four station OSCE, and teaching of best practice in writing single-best
answer multiple choice questions. Participants also took part in a teacher training session. The programme was
implemented at a large teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia. We employed mixed-methods to evaluate the
programme, using pre- and post-questionnaires and a focus group.
Results: The programme increased participants’ perceived understanding and ability to apply educational
principles, plan learning activities, and provide feedback. In particular, participants perceived that their
understanding how to implement SCORPIO, CRS and OSCE had increased. However, participants would have liked
greater opportunity to observe bedside teaching. Participants foresaw challenges to the implementation of
educational changes in Mongolia, including the anticipated difficulty of engaging hospital staff in teaching;
implementing a student-centred approach to teaching; and providing a large number of students with adequate
clinical experience.
Conclusion: Changes in educational strategy in Mongolia may assist medical schools to produce clinically
competent graduates. Our programme provided an effective means to introduce Mongolian leaders in health and
education to modern student-centred medical education teaching and assessment methods; and to highlight the
importance of teacher training and evaluation as a strategy to engage both university and hospital staff in medical
education. Additionally, programme outcomes assisted in subsequent phases of the project, including in-country
needs assessment, curriculum development and delivery.

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