ILAE Epilepsy Faculty
Education is a major priority in the list of ILAE activities. In order to foster educational activities in all parts of the world in the most efficient way, and to facilitate the utilization of resources in a coordinated manner, the ILAE President has set up a special Task Force, called the Epilepsy Faculty Task Force, whose mandate is to assemble an international database of professionals with competence, ability and motivation to contribute to ILAE educational initiatives in all areas of epileptology. These initiatives are not restricted to congresses, courses and on-site training programs where faculty members may serve as lecturers, tutors or mentors, but also include distance education (e-learning) modules which are increasingly being developed by ILAE Commissions and are being received extremely well by trainees worldwide.
E-learning activities which are already available include courses on Electroencephalography, Genetics, and Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy. These courses are reserved to a limited number of successful applicants and, since the same course may be run repeatedly over the same year, they require the dedicated contribution of a significant number of highly qualified e-tutors and e-moderators. Given the interactive nature of distant education activities, e-moderators need to have not only professional expertise, but also special communication and motivation skills, as well as a positive attitude towards the new information and communication technologies. It is one of the objectives of the Epilepsy Faculty Task Force to enroll these dedicated professionals, to keep a record of their special areas of expertise, and to make their abilities available to the educational activities organized by all ILAE Commissions. An additional objective of the Epilepsy Faculty Task Force is to monitor the quality of the educational activities contributed by individual Faculty members.
As a first step, the Task Force, which is acting in synergy with the Commission on Education, agreed on a list of requirements for inclusion of potential Faculty members in a list of nominees:
- Peer-recognized professional competence and teaching capabilities, best documented by lecturing experience in national or international courses. Research experience, documented by indexed publications is considered desirable, but not mandatory;
- Knowledge of English is highly desirable, and fluency in an additional language beyond the nominee's mother language is an advantage. Faculty members must have in any case sufficient skills in a widely spoken language to be able to communicate with peers outside their regional borders;
- Faculty members must be selected from different disciplines (e.g., clinical epileptology, pediatrics, neurophysiology, imaging, clinical pharmacology, social support activities, basic science, etc.), to address the multidisciplinary nature of epileptology and the diverse areas of interest and geographical settings of professionals engaged in epilepsy-related activities;
- Faculty members are presumed to be willing to take part in ILAE-related educational activities in the future, though specific commitments are not requested at the time of inclusion in the Faculty.
Based on the above criteria, the Task Force has identified, with the help of individual ILAE chapters, nominees from 82 countries in 5 continents. Selected candidates have been and are being contacted, and many have agreed to become members of the Faculty. It his hoped that this initiative will provide the backbone for the ambitious educational agenda that the ILAE is developing.
Emilio Perucca (Task Force Chair)
The members of the Epilepsy Faculty Task Force include Ed Bertram (Charlottesville, U.S.A.), Peter Camfield (Halifax, Canada), Esper Cavalheiro (São Paulo, Brasil), Marco De Curtis (Milano, Italy), Lamine Gueye (Dakar, Senegal), Najib Kissani (Marrakech, Morocco), Kristina Malmgren (Gothenburg, Sweden), Emilio Perucca (Pavia, Italy), Alejandro Scaramelli (Montevideo, Uruguay), Shih-Hui Lim (Singapore) and Gedlie Zenebe (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia).