Title

Building communities of practice: MEPI creates a commons

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Journal

Academic Medicine

Volume

89

Issue

8 SUPPL.

DOI

10.1097/ACM.0000000000000349

Abstract

The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) supports medical education capacity development, retention, and research in Sub-Saharan African institutions. Today, MEPI comprises more than 40 medical schools in Africa and 20 in the United States. Since 2011, the MEPI Coordinating Center, working with the MEPI schools and the U.S. government, has laid the groundwork and served as a catalyst for the creation and development of MEPI "communities of practice" (CoPs). These CoPs encompass seven components, some of which are virtual while others are tangible. They include technical working groups, principal investigator site visit exchanges, an annual symposium, a MEPI journal supplement, the MEPI Web site, newsletters, and webinars. Despite certain challenges and the question of sustainability, the presence within the MEPI network of an organization focused on promoting group consciousness and facilitating collaborative projects is an asset that is likely to continue to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.

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