The major component of any Urolink visit or of any collaborative twinning programme, in terms of benefit to the recipient, is undoubtedly teaching. There is only limited value in undertaking visits which solely concentrate on management of a small number of clinical problems or cases prepared by the host Department. Any long-term gain can only be achieved by teaching staff to manage clinical problems once the visiting team have returned home.
Teaching essentially takes two forms; first, performing procedures and training individuals to undertake them on their own, and, second, formal teaching through lectures, seminars and presentations.
Planning the educational visit
- Before leaving home to embark on a visit to a developing centre, it is essential that you are organised
- Agree teaching/training goals
- Agree areas specified by the developing department rather than to teach on subjects or cases judged as appropriate in the UK
- Establish who the target audience will be and what their perceived goals are for the teaching programme
- Establish what teaching facilities are available including audiovisual equipment
- Assist with organisation where appropriate to maximise the teaching opportunity.
What to take with you to teach
For formal teaching Powerpoint® presentations are probably he most appropriate but do depend on the facilities available locally. It is usually helpful to bring a number of "props" which will help to get messages across and to add an element of variability to lectures and presentations. Taking examples of catheters, ureteric stents and X-ray images is, therefore, well worth the extra luggage space required. A general supply of "handouts" is also advisable, summarising the salient points of any teaching undertaken, including both formal presentations and surgical techniques that may be demonstrated.
How to teach abroad
- Know what your host thinks is relevant and plan your teaching around those topics.
- Pitch the level and the topic of any teaching session appropriately to the audience; ensure that the messages are simple and brief.
- Remember that English is the second or, sometimes, the third language of the medical staff from LMICs so you need to ensure that appropriate language is used with minimal abbreviations and a degree of repetition of the salient points.
- Small presentations broken up by periods of audience involvement, and the opportunity for the audience to ask questions, are preferred to long didactic lectures. MDT or case-based discussions are a good way of putting points across.
- It is important never to underestimate the knowledge of medical staff in developing countries, particularly relating to clinical conditions they commonly encounter locally.
- Get feedback.
Inevitably, both formal and surgical teaching are mutually beneficial, with knowledge being shared by both parties. Always allow plenty of time for formal, or informal, discussion.
You may find these papers useful:
Hill E, Gurbutt D, Makuloluwa T, Gordon M, Georgiou R, Roddam H, Seneviratne S, Byrom A, Pollard K, Abhayasinghe K, Chance-Larsen K. Collaborative healthcare education programmes for continuing professional education in low and middle-income countries: A Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) systematic review. BEME Guide No. 65. Med Teach. 2021: 1-14.
Campain N, Kailavasan M, Chalwe M, Gobeze A, Teferi G, Lane R, Biyani CS. An Evaluation of the Role of Simulation Training for Teaching Surgical Skills in Sub-Saharan Africa. World J Surgery 2018; 42(4): 923‐929.
Campain NJ, Parnham AS, Spasojevic N, Reeves F, Venn S, Biyani CS. Use of a simulated model to teach male adult circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa. World J Surgery 2017; 41(1): 10-13.
Dreyer J, Hannay J, Lane R. Teaching the management of surgical emergencies through a short course to surgical residents in East/Central Africa delivers excellent educational outcomes. World J Surgery 2014; 38(4): 830-8.