Pan-African Thoracic Society Holds Fifth MECOR Program
In early October, the fifth Pan-African Thoracic Society MECOR (Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical and Operations Research) program was held at the Brackenhurst International Conference Center near Nairobi, Kenya. This year, the program, with support from the Nuffield Foundation and the ATS, featured three levels of courses: the level-one course, which provided students with an introduction to clinical research methods; the level-two course, where students learned to develop their research protocols; and the level-three course, where the focus was on data analysis and writing a research paper. In addition, ATS piloted tested a new level, the global course, which brought students together from Africa, Latin America and Turkey who had completed levels one through three to study advanced statistics and complete research papers during the course.
In total, 50 students from attended the program—21 of whom returned to take the level-two and level-three courses, after participating in previous PATS MECOR courses. The 2011 PATS MECOR faculty came from North America, United Kingdom and three countries in Africa. Many of the faculty members, including MECOR’s program director and former ATS President A. Sonia Buist, MD, also participate in similar programs in Latin America, Turkey and India and Vietnam.
"We think that this was our most successful program yet,” said ATS member Stephen Gordon, MD, director of PATS MECOR.“In addition to the core teaching usually associated with these courses, we were also pleased to offer 240 hours of spirometry training, and anticipate this will have a significant impact on the number of people who got their lungs tested on World Spirometry Day."
Faculty and students at the fifth annual Pan-African Thoracic Society MECOR program, which was held in October 2011 near Nairobi, Kenya.