Medical Education Unit

The landscape of healthcare and medicine has undergone radical changes in recent decades, and so has the medical profession. Todays and future doctors are called upon to face ongoing new challenges with additional responsibilities, in addition to the requirement of demonstrating a deep understanding of medical sciences. Today's doctor must indeed be adept at engaging with emerging technologies [12], which make the diagnostic and therapeutic process increasingly faster and complex. Furthermore, they must deal with patients who are increasingly polymorbid and be able to work consistently in a team in an interdisciplinary and interprofessional manner [1-2-3]. Continuous updating thus becomes a key condition. Therefore, they will need to acquire the ability to keep up with scientific literature while maintaining a critical mindset that allows him to assess the appropriateness of its content [4-13]. They must relate to the needs dictated by public health issues, constantly reflect on the cost-effectiveness of treatments, and be able to take on strong leadership while remaining an impeccable professional [5]. Even in Switzerland, to ensure a modern and well-rounded doctor, the principal relevant objectives and framework for integrative learning and education (PROFILES) have been reformulated by the Joint Commission of the Swiss Medical Schools (SMIFK/CIMS).

The newborn Faculty of Biomedical Sciences proposes a new and innovative curriculum that encompasses the characteristics (concepts) described above. The aim is to train doctors capable of fully assuming their future role and tackling the new challenges that the medical profession demands today.

The Faculty has integrated new concepts into the curriculum, such as ongoing assessment of the candidate in various contexts, active participation and empowering the student to attain the required competencies.

To address this challenge, the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences has decided to enlist the support of a Medical Education Unit in ensuring the quality of the training programs for the Master of Medicine and their proper delivery, providing the necessary tools to transform the role of trainers from mere disseminators of information to mentors, tutors: a model where the role is to accompany the student in his learning journey and make him autonomous [9-10].

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  • People

    • KD Dr.ssa med. Marilù Guigli Poretti, MME
      Responsible of the Unit
    • Anda Andrijanic
      Instructional designer
    • Giorgia Jaccard
      Instructional designer
  • References

    [1] Smith SM, Soubhi H, Fortin M, Hudon C, O'Dowd T. Managing patients with multimorbidity: systematic review of interventions in primary care and community settings. BMJ. 2012; 345: e5205.

    [2] Gallant S, Clerc M, Gachoud D, Morin D. Apprendre ensemble pour travailler ensemble : l’éducation interprofessionnelle, un mythe ou une réalité ? Rech Soins Infirm. 2011(106):40-6.

    [3] Michaud PA, Luthi FT, Clerc M, Gachoud D, Chapuis J, Allin AC, et al. L’éducation interprofessionnelle pour tous... Une expérience de sensibilisation pour des étudiants vaudois en formation prégraduée. Rev Med Suisse. 2011; 7(319):2363-5.

    [4] Crabtree EA, Brennan E, Davis A, Squires JE. Connecting Education to Quality: Engaging Medical Students in the Development of Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support Tools. Acad Med. 2017; 92(1):83-6

    [5] Federal Office of Public Health. Health 2020: global strategy. Bern; 2013.

    [6] Michaud PA, Jucker-Kupper P, and members of the Profiles working group.

    PROFILES; Principal Objectives and Framework for Integrated Learning and Education in Switzerland. Bern: Joint Commission of the Swiss Medical Schools; 2017.

    [7] Ten Cate O, Billett S. Competency-based medical education: origins, perspectives and potentialities. Med Educ. 2014; 48(3):325-32

    [8] Ten Cate O, Chen HC, Hoff RG, Peters H, Bok H, van der Schaaf M. Curriculum development for the workplace using Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs): AMEE Guide No. 99. Med Teach. 2015; 37(11):983-1002

    [9] CROSBY, RM Harden, Joy. AMEE Guide No 20: The good teacher is more than a lecturer-the twelve roles of the teacher. Medical teacher, 2000, 22.4: 334-347.

    [10] Schwartzstein R.M., Roberts D H. Saying Goodbye to Lectures in Medical School - Paradigm Shift or Passing Fad. N Engl J Med. 2017 Aug 17; 377(7):605-607.

    [11] Frank J, Snell L, Sherbino J. CanMEDS 2015: Physician Competency Framework. Ottawa: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; 2015

    [12] Dumiak M. E-health's future frontiers. Bull World Health Organ. 2012; 90(5):328

    [13] Crabtree EA, Brennan E, Davis A, Squires JE. Connecting Education to Quality: Engaging Medical Students in the Development of Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support Tools. Acad Med. 2017; 92(1):83-6

  • Courses Catalogue

    One of the missions of this Unit is to provide support and opportunities for training to all the clinical tutors and teachers involved in the program of the Master of Medicine.

    For those interested in attending an Introduction to OSCEs for new examiners, please click on the following link (in Italian).


    Teach the Teacher

    The course aims to provide participants with a basic training on university-level teaching, with a particular focus on the medical field. This course is designed for all those aspiring to the conferral of an academic tittle at the Faculty.

    Would you like to know more? Consult the regulation at the following link or contact the operational assistant of the Dean's Office ([email protected]).

    At the end of the course, the participants will:

    1. Get to know the fundamental concepts of andragogy and didactics and their implications for teaching practices.
    2. Be able to design teaching activities using appropriately diverse teaching strategies.
    3. Efficiently deliver teaching activities using suitable tools and effectively managing students in the classroom.
    4. Design and carry out assessment activities effectively.
    5. Have increased awareness of the key dynamics of teaching and learning.

    This course is subject to payment.


    Training for clinical tutors and teachers (clinical activity and didactics in small groups)

    The Unit supports the teaching in the clinic and at the campus through a targeted offering for each teaching format. The aim is to provide effective and useful teaching tools for teachers at the campus and clinical tutors involved in the different teaching formats. The teaching model is based on the andragogical approach of Malcolm Knowles, which grounds its learning theory on the adult and on the necessity of placing the learner at the center of the educational project through an active and experience-linked methodology (M. Knowles, D. Kolb).

    Type of courses:

    • Teaching in the classroom

    The teacher constitutes the most significant psychological determinant of the social climate within the learning group, this means that, in addition to the content, the relationship is fundamental. Therefore, the course aims to provide methods and teaching strategies to encourage interactivity in the classroom. In this regard, practical teaching tools offered by USI will also be introduced.

    • Teaching in the clinic

    The course aims to give participants the tools to develop an effective relationship with the student, which is considered an essential element in ensuring the quality of clinical training. The communication-relational aspect with one's tutor allows the student to consolidate the clinical experience at the patient's bedside. Clinical practice is a fundamental part of medical studies, as such it should be considered as an active learning phase that allows the student to develop their own critical (as well as clinical) thinking. In addition, a part of the course will also be devoted to the presentation of Checkpoint, the ePortfolio platform where students protocol all clinical and simulation activities they perform during the training.

    • L’importanza del feedback della pratica clinica

    The focus of the course will be on the development of active listening, the construction of the so-called "I-messages," and ways to promote the formulation of effective feedback. Each topic will be accompanied by an intensive training phase, which is essential for drawing parallels with everyday life.

    These courses have been organized for the teachers and clinical tutors involved in teaching (small groups and/or clinical days) of the USI Master of Medicine and chosen by the responsible of each module. These courses are still open to all, but in case of oversubscription we reserve the right to give priority to those who have a role in the teaching format they have been assigned to. All courses for teachers and clinical tutors offered by the Unit are free of charge. A certificate of participation and 4 non-specific continuing education credits (ISFM) are awarded.

  • Next training days and inscription links

    Place: USI, Università della Svizzera italiana

    The dates of the next courses will be published soon.

  • Training support

    The Unit also offers personalised or small-group consulting services to all teachers who need guidance in implementing new teaching methodologies and teaching tools.

    To request a consultation, contact the responsible of the unit, Marilù Guigli Poretti:

    To request a consultation related to the use and implementation of teaching tools, contact:


    Teaching tools

    In the classroom

    The main teaching tools offered by USI to the teachers and tutors of the Faculty are the following:

    • eLearning platform iCorsi
      • iCorsi is USI’s the eLearning platform. iCorsi enables teachers and students to manage, share, and consult educational material, perform plagiarism checks through the Turnitin software, manage communications between teachers and students, and create and conduct online exams.
        • Access through the SWITCH edu-ID account
    • Wooclap
      • Wooclap is an online platform that allows interaction with students through various types of events and activities (questionnaires, surveys, open or closed-ended questions, etc.), thus keeping students active and engaged during the lesson.
    • Mindmeister
      • Mindmeister allows you to create, manage and share mind maps online while collaborating in real time with your students or colleagues.
    • AMBOSS
      • AMBOSS is an online eLearning platform that allows doctors and students to gain medical knowledge through videos, images, and scientific articles. In addition, the platform contains a database of questions that allows students to practice exam content and monitor their own performance.
        • Contact the Faculty’s Programme manager Monica Link for the licenses ([email protected])

    More information related to these tools is provided by USI's eLab service.

    Another tool that has been used during the pandemic period is MS Teams. This is in fact the tool that USI offers to broadcast its lectures online. MS Teams allows you to share your screen or presentation with students, interact with them during the lecture, temporarily break them up into different rooms for group work or discussions, record the lecture online, etc.


    In the hospital, in the clinic

    The Unit is also responsible for managing the ePortfolio platform – Checkpoint – based on the catalog of medical skills and learning objectives (PROFILES).

    Checkpoint allows the student to protocol all clinical and simulation activities they encounter during their training. The set of information entered will give the student the ability to check where they stand and what they lack to cover the required training objectives.

    Tutors involved in the bedside teaching are regularly asked to provide feedback to students through the use of the Checkpoint platform.

    Can't remember how to assess anymore?

    If you have any problems with the Checkpoint platform please write to: [email protected].