In May 2019 AMEE International Networking Centre was opened in Georgia, based within Tbilisi State Medical University. The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) is a worldwide organization with members in 90 countries on five continents, bringing together higher education institutions, national associations and other international organizations, including the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) and the World Health Organization (WHO). There are currently three AMEE International Networking Centers worldwide, including one in Georgia. Tbilisi State Medical University has been selected for its active cooperation with AMEE, modernization of medical education, introduction of modern methodologies of teaching, learning and assessment and successful participation in international educational projects.
The aim of AMEE International Networking Centre in Georgia is to share modern methodology in medical education, to deliver ESME courses and to provide higher education institutions and their academic and administrative staff, medical education experts and other stakeholders with relevant information and materials.
On May 23, 2019 an AMEE International Networking Center in Georgia was founded at Tbilisi State Medical University (TSMU). The opening ceremony was attended by Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mikheil Batiashvili, the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia and other executive and legislative bodies of Georgian Government. Rectors from various Georgian Medical Universities, TSMU vice-rectors, deans, administrative and academic staff and participants of ESME courses were also invited at the event. The ceremony was opened by Professor Zurab Vadachkoria, Rector of Tbilisi State Medical University. Prof. Vadachkoria noted, “Georgia has become the International Center for Medical Education and it is one of the most important events on the way to integration to European Higher Education Area. As Tbilisi State Medical University is internationally recognized, successful Higher Education Institution oriented to implementation of modern teaching and learning methods in medical education, AMEE made decision to establish the third, South-East European Regional Center in Georgia, at TSMU”.
From 2000 TSMU actively cooperates with AMEE in the field of development new approaches to curriculum planning and teaching methods, publishing joint research articles and participation in annual conferences and workshops. TSMU was also a member of MEDINE-Thematic Network aimed to harmonize medical education with Bologna Process, implemented one of the most successful TEMPUS projects, “Modernizing Undergraduate Medical Education in EU Eastern Neighboring Area” (MUMEENA), developed innovative medical educational model in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Establishment of AMEE International Networking Center at TSMU will enhance partnership with the world leaders in medical education and widen international recognition of TSMU where nearly 2300 international students study from 68 countries. The main goal of the AMEE International Networking Center in Georgia is sharing modern methodologies in medical education and delivering professional trainings to academic and administrative staff and medical experts. It is the second opportunity for Georgia to become a Regional International Hub in Medical Education. The first recognition of Georgian Medical Education was initiated in November 2018, when the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement of Georgia was granted with a status of Accreditation Agency by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME).
The Prime Minister of Georgia talked about international recognition of Georgian Education and emphasized the importance of opening the AMEE Center for further development of Medical Education in Georgia. Mikheil Batiashvili, the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia and Professor Trevor Gibbs, AMEE Committee Member and WFME Consultant in Medical Education addressed the audience. During the event video of Professor Ronald Harden, the General Secretary of AMEE was shown. At the end of the ceremony MOU was signed between two institutions (TSMU and AMEE).
A five-day training course started on May 20, led by Professor Trevor Gibbs, AMEE Committee Member and WFME Consultant in Medical Education. After completion of four ESME full-time courses, participants will be awarded with Internationally Recognized Certificate of Specialist in Medical Education. Training courses in Assessment Methods, Clinical Teaching, Simulation-based Healthcare Instructions, Educational Leadership, and Management will be organized in the nearest future. Journal “Medical Teacher” will be published in the Georgian language.