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Celebrating the Past by Expanding the Future: The Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University 1986–2006
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre of Paediatrics and Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Cardiology . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Heart and Medicine Centre.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Infectious Diseases . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Heart and Medicine Centre, Department of Infectious Diseases in Östergötland.
2006 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the fall of 2006, the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) celebrates its 20th birthday. Linköping has a long tradition of health education; our nursing programme started already in 1895 and occupational therapy began in 1965. From the late 1960’s, medical students from Uppsala spent their last seven semesters in Linköping, mainly for clinical studies. After some years, academic and teachers from the young faculty, together with the county council, realized the enormous potential benefits of a complete undergraduate medical programme at Linköping University. Inspired by apparent innovations from McMaster University in Canada, Maastricht in Holland, Ben Gurion in Israel and Tromsø in Norway, these ideas and ideals were gradually turned into reality. In a complicated process, concerning the life or death of the medical faculty, a close co-operation between the University and the County Council of Östergötland was extremely fruitful. A proposal regarding a complete medical programme, and study periods integrated between the other health education programmes, was forwarded to the Swedish government in December 1982 and approved in 1984.

The new FHS at Linköping University was launched in 1986, and by the end of August the first students began their studies. Already at the start, FHS included several programmes for health professionals: nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, medicine, social welfare and laboratory technology. Speech and language pathology was added in 2003 and the education curriculum for laboratory technicians was developed into a master’s programme in medical biology. A number of important concepts were included in the new programmes. Problem based learning (PBL) was chosen as the fundamental basis for organising studies; using small tutorial groups with supervisors as “coaches” and real patient histories as triggers for learning. Since 2001, realistic cases/scenarios are made available on the Intranet.

PBL is highly appreciated by the majority of students and teachers. This method of learning focused in contexts, according to pedagogic research, leads to a higher retention of knowledge than in traditional teacher-centered approaches toward learning. Important PBL spin-off effects are in educating students to cooperate in groups, to communicate and argue, to listen to other students’ opinions, to evaluate their own efforts and to identify learning needs. Furthermore, the method implies that students’ learn to independently find and evaluate scientific information, thereby realizing that the truth is somewhat “relative,” since what they find may differ depending on the sources used. Perhaps the most important characteristic of PBL is that it moves the main responsibility for obtaining goals and new knowledge from the teacher to the student.

Other important elements of the various curricula at the FHS are vertical and horizontal integration. In vertical integration, e.g. between clinical and basic science, different sections are interwoven with clear progressive shifts over phases and semesters. This has shown to stimulate profound rather than superficial learning, and probably stimulates better understanding. Horizontal integration focuses on the simultaneous learning of several subjects needed to understand and explain the scenarios used.

In PBL, teachers are expected to cooperate over departmental borders, a process that often produces positive spin-off effects extending further to research. They take on many different roles as e.g. planners, semester coordinators, tutors, lecturers and clinical supervisors. As such, newcomers may encounter certain frustration. Continuous staff development is critical to assure pedagogical selection and excellence, and thereby the quality of the programmes.

In PBL, teachers are expected to cooperate over departmental borders, a process that often produces positive spin-off effects extending further to research. They take on many different roles as e.g. planners, semester coordinators, tutors, lecturers and clinical supervisors. As such, newcomers may encounter certain frustration. Continuous staff development is critical to assure pedagogical selection and excellence, and thereby the quality of the programmes.

The aim to be a medical faculty with a standing among the most progressive worldwide implies continuous evaluation and development. Our mission is to foster the very best in health care; health care extending consideration toward educating competent professionals and conducting quality research with a focus on societal needs and welfare. To fulfil this mission, we need to advance teaching models based on evidence, and continuously improve and develop our educational methods. This process requires cooperation between departments, teachers and students within the university and indeed, throughout the world. Such contacts and collaborations are as important in education as they are in research, and extend an endless source of inspiration. Communication between the different undergraduate programmes at FHS has been extremely fruitful and should further be stimulated. At the faculty level, it is important to provide teachers with credit for efforts and development toward education. To keep integration and innovation at a high level, it is very important to balance the decision power and the distribution of money between departments and programmes.

The aim of this book is to provide a general overview, in glimpses, of some of the important developments in FHS education; to describe new ideas in progress or those already turned to reality and also, to extend some consideration of publications regarding our educational innovations. We hope these examples provide the essence of inspiration for future work, contributing to improved education and better health for all.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2006. , 106 p.
Series
Medical Faculty report, ISSN 1652-3598 (print), 1652-3601(online) ; 3
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-62223ISBN: 91-85643-07-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-62223DiVA: diva2:371958
Note
Produced by the Department of External Relations, Linköping university Coordinator: Åke Hjelm. Editorial translation: Bohdan Sklepkovych. Design: Peter Modin. Photographers: Göran Billeson. Ida Lagstam, Jan Christer PerssonAvailable from: 2007-02-05 Created: 2010-11-23Bibliographically approved

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Hammar, MatsBergdahl, BjörnÖhman, Lena

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