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PRACTICUM FOUNDATION. A word from our President

Dr. Eduardo Hornos: "We stand together against the coronavirus"

Dr. Eduardo Hornos, President of the Practicum Foundation, in our office in Madrid (Spain).

Albert Einstein once said, "It is in the crisis that inventiveness, discoveries, and great strategies are born." However, crises are often paralyzing and generate uncertainty, hindering our agility to think and act. With the world currently facing the Covid-19 pandemic, many sectors have been forced to reinvent themselves. Since it was established, the Practicum Foundation has been sensitive to problems of current medicine; we know that we are only able to achieve our goal of improving medical education with genuine contributions to medical practice.

Madrid - April 7, 2020. The Practicum Foundation builds its proposals for research, teaching, and development of educational technology with the conviction that improvements of the educational system in health sciences require innovative ideas. That is why, for example, we are immersed in the international project Practicum Universities, an initiative endorsed by the European Board of Medical Assessors to introduce the Practicum Script clinical reasoning training simulator into medical schools. The students of today are the doctors of tomorrow, and the sooner they face clinical uncertainties and gain clinical experience, the better prepared they will be for real practice.

They will agree with me that clinical reasoning can be defined as "the ability to integrate and apply different types of knowledge, weigh the evidence, think critically about the arguments, and reflect on the process used to make a clinical decision." Given the importance of clinical reasoning as a spinal cord of clinical practice, it is essential to promote activities aimed at its formal teaching during the graduate program and residency, and even in continuous training of specialists. Since the 1980s, the World Health Organization has been proposing a participatory pedagogical (student-centered) model, and this is the point where we join with all our resources.

In the current context, universities are adapting to the need to switch from in-person to online teaching, and the Practicum Foundation has made itself available for that in Spain, Europe, US, and Latin America. This is about minimizing the impact of interruption of classes and assessments, and (why not?) also to test the plausibility of a deeper transformation. Experts agree that medical education will require a radical transformation in the coming years. These times of disruptive technologies and change in behavior demand active learning methodologies, and today, more than ever, we want you to know that we are in this together.

In some areas, health care students support physicians in caring for the patients. From the Practicum Foundation, and personally from me as the President of the Foundation, we want to convey our solidarity in these exceptional circumstances. We extend this solidarity to health care professionals working in the frontlines, to those continuing their work as researchers, professors and science communicators, to all professionals who telework, and to everyone who follows our activities and programs.

At Practicum Foundation, we want to keep in touch with you during the next difficult months to share experiences and keep you updated on the challenges that we face as an organization. We will contact you again soon. In the meantime, remember Einstein's words, "He who overcomes crisis, overcomes himself without getting overcome." I repeat, we stand together to face the coronavirus crisis. At moments like this, solidarity is a stimulus and a symbol of union.

 

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