Message from the President
Today, as educators of healthcare professions, we have become either partners, passengers or at least
witnesses of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The third industrial revolution in 18 th century broke the
boundaries between countries by the proliferation of technological advancements, which lead to
‘globalization’. Patients, practitioners and educators became parts of a global village. 4IR is blurring the
demarcations of physical, digital, and biological spheres of individuals, and leading to the formation of
‘cyber-physical systems’. Without a doubt, health and bio-medical sciences bear the highest impact of
4IR with rapid paradigm changes taking place in genetics, robotics and artificial intelligence. Patients,
practitioners and educators are fast becoming the parts of single cyber-physical system.
During the 3 rd industrial revolution, educators of health professions faced the primary challenge of
instilling expanding technology to strengthen the educational principles to provide a better educational
experience to their students and trainees. With 4IR, we are facing the challenge of adapting the
educational principles to suit the stakeholders who exist as ‘cyber physical systems’. However, especially
the educators in developing part of the world may still be struggling with instilling technology to health
professions education while meeting the demands of students and the public to embrace 4IR.
The fundamental goal of health professions education is developing the appropriate professional
identity of practitioners. It is quite different from producing doctors. The challenges posed by the
dynamics of a revolutionising world should not distract but attract us towards this fundamental goal.
As reflected in our theme, the Colombo Conference on Medical Education – 2019, focuses on how the
cornerstones of fostering professional identify, clinical and moral reasoning, and reflective skills, can be
upheld in these challenging but very exciting times. Many international experts and leaders, who are
paving the way in the right direction, share their wisdom and scholarship over three days across a
diverse programme of activities.
We invite you to be a part of this brainstorming journey while embracing the warmth of sincerity and joy
of excitement in the vibrant city of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Professor Madawa Chandratilake
College of Medical Educationists