At its launch, the Academic Medicine Education Institute (AM•EI) set itself a bold goal – to create an inclusive and inter-professional community of educators that will develop better ways of teaching, tapping on the spirit of Generativity.

Generativity – sharing of knowledge to nurture the next generation and stretch their academic impact. AM•EI does this by developing better educators who build up others to improve patient care.

One and a half years on, Professor Robert Kamei, Co-Group Director of AM•EI and Vice Dean of Education for Duke-NUS, believes they have done just that. He said, “I think what you’d find if you talk to our educators, the difference now is AM•EI provides them a place to hold a conversation with other people with educational interest.”

Generativity has had concrete impact on the system in 2013. AM•EI has taken the approach to cultivate educational expertise internally instead of relying on external experts as ‘one-time teachers’ – a method that rarely provides long term, sustainable improvements. 

AM•EI Co-Group Director and Group Director of Education at SingHealth, Associate Professor Koo Wen Hsin, echoes his counterpart’s sentiments, “AM•EI empowers inter-professional healthcare educators to share their knowledge and enables recognition of their education contributions. We give them an opportunity to advance their interest and keep the passion alive.”

The challenge in 2014 is to uncover ways to innovate and make teaching more efficient with limited time and resources.

“We are committed to developing each and every educator to build the teaching pipeline. Now that the platform is established, it is also important to encourage participation and expand the community,” said Prof Koo. 

Prof Kamei added, “What are the challenges in healthcare education? What are the big problems to solve? These are what AM•EI will look into as it gains more educational inhouse expertise, starting with the work of the AM•EI Fellows.”

The first cohort of the AM•EI Fellows Program, or Pioneer Fellows, has begun to teach in educational workshops and conduct academic research. Using their expertise as multidisciplinary clinician educators, they contribute towards faculty development, education research and education programme development. 

As the AM•EI Fellows develop in their specific healthcare education fields, they will also be trained in physician leadership, preparing them for administrative roles that demand know-how in managing change, developing and administrating educational programmes, and programme funding and selection.

“We’ve now got a group of people who have been tasked to improve their education programme. While there’ve always been people thinking about how to make their programmes better, it has never used such a structured approach. We’re poised to make an impact because of this,” affirms Prof Kamei.