November 2022

AMEE Member Spotlight - Associate Professor Eeva Pyörälä, new Chair of the AMEE Fellowship Committee

How long have you been an AMEE Member and why is being a member important to you?
AMEE has been my scholarly home and inspiration for 20 years. In 2003, my first AMEE conference in Bern was an eye-opening experience. I had worked in medical education for over ten years, developing communication skills studies as part of a curriculum reform. At the AMEE conferences, I met colleagues with whom I could share the scholarly spark and interest in the same topics and made friends with wonderful people. Since 2003, I haven't missed a single AMEE conference and, in 2007, I became an AMEE member. AMEE has given me stimuli, networks and friends, the best scholarly fuel you could wish for!

What roles have you held with AMEE over the years?
For over 20 years, I have authored more than 80 presentations, posters, short communications, workshops, best practice sessions and symposia and contributed to AMEE by reviewing abstracts, chairing and being a discussant in conference sessions, facilitating workshops and symposia. In 2017, to our great joy, AMEE was successfully organized in Helsinki and I was on the local organization committee. During the pandemic, AMEE did not freeze, but showed resilience and organized the conferences online. I will never forget the AMEE 2020 conference where Subha Ramani, Rashmi Kusurkar and I appeared as avatars.

Medical Teacher was the first medical education journal I knew. Since then, I have published articles in Medical Teacher, reviewed manuscripts, been a member of the Editorial Board, and in 2020, with Tim Dornan, we edited a special issue of the Activity Theory in health professions education. I was recently a member of the Ottawa Consensus Group, led by Richard Fuller, and we published an international consensus statement on technology-enhanced assessment in Medical Teacher. 

What has AMEE Fellowship offered you and what is the mission of the Fellowship Committee?
In 2018, I applied for an AMEE Fellowship to share my enthusiasm with AMEE Fellows (FAMEEs) and Associate Fellows (AFAMEEs) and deepen my involvement in the AMEE community. I was nominated an AMEE Fellow in 2018 on my birthday, June 5th. It was the best birthday present ever!

The following year I was appointed Vice-Chair of the Fellowship Committee and member of the Honorary Fellowship Committee. This week I had the great honour of being elected Chair of the Fellowship Committee, following in the footsteps of current AMEE President Subha Ramani. Thank you Subha for your fantastic work as a Chair and developer of webinars and mentoring activities! I work side-by-side with the Committee Vice-Chair, Rashmi Kusurkar. She is a wonderful, energetic scholar and one of the most accomplished tweeters at AMEE. Naturally, we work closely with the entire committee and the AMEE team.

The mission of the Fellowship Committee is to encourage health professions educators to advance their scholarship, promote career development among the next generation educators and strengthen the recognition of educational excellence. This mission is close to my heart. I will always remember my first AMEE conferences and want to pass this friendly AMEE spirit on to the next generation and support members and AFAMEEs in their scholarly path. 
At AMEE conferences, the Fellowship Committee continues organizing workshops and mentoring sessions. Between conferences, we organize webinars and mentoring for AFAMEEs, so they can be in dialogue with and get advice from FAMEEs on how to foster their scholarship and advance in their careers.

What are you looking forward to next with AMEE?
The main theme of AMEE 2023 is `Inclusive Learning Environments to Transform the Future'. The Fellowship Committee considers inclusivity a key building block of a better world to come. We will promote the global collaboration between educators, support the development of inclusive Communities of Practice and, most importantly, we will all learn with and from each other to achieve a better healthcare of the future and health for all. 

Associate Professor Eeva Pyörälä
Chair of the AMEE Fellowship Committee