gms | German Medical Science

GMS Journal for Medical Education

Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA)

ISSN 2366-5017

GMA Annual Conference 2012 in Aachen - Conference Report

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  • corresponding author Melanie Simon - RWTH Aachen, Medizinische Fakultät, Organisationsteam GMA2012 Aachen, Aachen, Deutschland; Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Fachbereiche Medizin und Veterinärmedizin, Gießen, Deutschland
  • corresponding author Sasa Sopka - RWTH Aachen, Medizinische Fakultät, Organisationsteam GMA2012 Aachen, Aachen, Deutschland; RWTH Aachen, Medizinische Fakultät, AIXTRA - Aachener Interdisziplinäres Trainingszentrum für Medizinische Ausbildung, Aachen, Deutschland; Universitätsklinikum Aachen, Klinik für operative Intensivmedizin, Aachen, Deutschland
  • corresponding author Stefan K. Beckers - RWTH Aachen, Medizinische Fakultät, Organisationsteam GMA2012 Aachen, Aachen, Deutschland; RWTH Aachen, Medizinische Fakultät, AIXTRA - Aachener Interdisziplinäres Trainingszentrum für Medizinische Ausbildung, Aachen, Deutschland; Universitätsklinikum Aachen, Klinik für operative Intensivmedizin, Aachen, Deutschland

GMS Z Med Ausbild 2012;29(5):Doc63

doi: 10.3205/zma000833, urn:nbn:de:0183-zma0008334

This is the English version of the article.
The German version can be found at:

Received: November 5, 2012
Revised: November 5, 2012
Accepted: November 5, 2012
Published: November 15, 2012

© 2012 Simon et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Together with the medical faculty of the RWTH Aachen University, the GMA, Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (Association for Medical Training) invited all interested teacher and students to their annual meeting September 27-29th, 2012, at the Universitätsklinikum Aachen (University Hospital). The event constituted a platform with the theme "Crossing boundaries” – International, interdisciplinary, interprofessional medical training and provided the possibility of gathering and exchanging information on new opportunities, challenges and knowledge acquired in medical training. Recently, medicine has shown an increasing need for an interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaboration in patient care. This was reflected by the participants of the meeting accordingly to new approaches to teaching and learning concepts.

There was a wide-range of current topics: from blended learning to human resources and organizational development, new research topics and applications are highlighted in the program. Within four days of presentation and discussion 120 short communication presentations, 90 Poster and 12 Workshops were presented and listened to by nearly 700 participants from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, USA and United Kingdom.


Due to the international participants the local committee also included one short communication and one poster session in English language into the scientific program, which were moderated by the guests from USA as well as by German Chairmen.

Moreover the student participants were very decicater and organized a scientific session on their own, which focus on the collaboration between students and teachers within innovative teaching projects in education and educational research.

Before the official beginning of the meeting, the scientific program was introduced by the pre-conference workshops and the GMA committee meetings. During that time participants were also invited to visit the Skillslab AIXTRA of the Medical faculty, which offered a visitation of training rooms and facilities.

Within the opening session on Thursday the Dean of the Medical Faculty welcomed all attendants as well as the Chairs of the meeting. The vice-rector for research of the RWTH Aachen University talked about the importance of excellence in teaching before the Head of the GMA, Prof. Martin Fischer, opened the meeting while wishing a fruitful discussion to everybody.

Professor Elizabeth Armstrong, Director of the Harvard Macy Institutes, Boston, USA, advised the audience not to miss their chance to identify the needs of further generations of learners in Medical Education and to prepare for those needs. She showed international approaches to this process and gave very impressing examples to that.

Eric Holmboe Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), Philadelphia, USA, focused his presentation on the workplace based assessment in Medical Education and the need for interprofessional collaboration within medical education. This again was emphasized by the speech of Elizabeth Howkins, Chairwoman Centre of Advancement of Interprofessional Education, Fareham, UK, especially due to patient’s safety. Jana Jünger, head of the Baden-Württemberg competency center for assessment in medical education, Heidelberg, Germany, rounded off the keynote speeches on Saturday while talking about competency based assessment in medical education.

There were two new aspects in the scientific program of the meeting in 2012. For the first time three “Work-In-Progress-Sessions” were included into the scientific program. There participants were able to present their projects and get advice from the Chairs of these sessions, which were especially experienced in research methods in educational research. The aim was to enhance quality of research projects and widen the methodological framework of the participants. Also for the first time the winners of the prizes for young teachers and for teaching students from 2011 and 2012 were invited to present their successful projects in detail and thereby motivate others to realize innovative projects at their own medical schools.

Prizewinner were Bahman Afzali, Essen (Teaching students), Katja-Anne Dannenberg, Berlin, (Teaching students), Thomas Derungs, Berlin, (Young teachers), Henning Biermann, Aachen (Young teachers) und Andrea Praschinger, Wien, (Young teachers).

Social events

Of course also a social program was presented to the attendants of the meeting. On Thursday everyone was invited to take part in the gala dinner in the Krönungssaal of the old town hall of Aachen. On Friday evening poster prizes were awarded to he winners of 2012 (Christoffer Krug, Giessen; Andrea Pirkl, Aachen; Sylvère Störmann, Munich.

Members meeting and election

Beside the scientific program the GMA Members´meeting was held on Friday. Three new members of the GMA board were elected:

  • Deputy Chairman: Prof. Sigrid Harendza, MME, Hamburg
  • Student Body Observer: Anke Meier, Hamburg
  • Veterinary Medicine Observer: Melanie Simon, MME, Gießen.

Acknowledgements and outlook

We would like to thank all who have made the annual conference possible with their enthusiasm and dedication. In particular, we would like to mention Mrs Herrmannsdörfer of the GMA Office in Erlangen, the GMS employees in Cologne and the company TEMA AG Aachen. Many thanks to the local team of organization, the members of the dean´s office for study affairs, the colleagues of the Skillslab AIXTRA and all the helping hands which helped us to bring the meeting to a successful outcome.

The GMA Annual Conference 2013 will take place from 27-29.09.2013 in Graz, Austria. Further information is available at

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.