Harvard Macy Institute Podcast

The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast S2E9: “Glocalisation” for health professions education

October 13, 2021

The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast aims to connect our Harvard Macy Institute community and to develop our interest in health professions education topics and literature. Our podcast is hosted by our Program for Educators in the Health Professions course faculty Victoria Brazil, and will feature interviews with health professions education authors and their research papers.

Podcast S2E9 features Sawsan Abdel-Rawsig, in a discussion about ‘glocalisation’ – how we adapt our increasingly global approaches in health professions education to ensure they remain culturally and locally aligned        

Healthcare and health professions education is increasingly global and interconnected. This has many benefits, but risks ignoring important cultural and contextual differences in the settings where education is delivered. In this episode Sawsan Abdel Rawsig tells us about ‘glocalisation’ - combining the terms globalisation and localization to describe the adaptation of international standards to local needs and cultures. We explored this concept through her work in the United Arab Emirates, where she works as chair of medical education at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Glocalisation involves adapting the domains of learning, the pedagogies, the faculty, and the systems to those that align with and serve local communities. By way of example, Sawsan has led the creation of a framework for medical professionalism in the UAE, with considerable overlap with accepted Western definitions, along with important differences.

We also discussed the opportunities for the ‘bidirectional’ influence of cultural adaptation, and suggest that the process of reflecting on differences can positively reshape some of our dominant Western perspectives.

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