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How the ATS Revamped MECOR

Philip Hopewell, MD

Phil Hopewell, MD

Editor’s Note: this the second and last part of a series about the ATS MECOR Program. Read Part 1.

Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical and Operations Research (MECOR) is an intensive one-week course for physicians and related health care professionals designed to strengthen capacity and leadership in epidemiological, clinical and operations research related to respiratory conditions, critical care, and sleep medicine in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs).

MECOR 2.0 is a brand new revision of the original MECOR curriculum, based on recommendations developed during a course planning retreat. New approaches include video learning, which allows more time for in-person, individual, and small group interactions.

According to Philip Hopewell, MD, who led the planning for the new phase of the program, “The course is now viewed as an integrated three-level course that is focused on developing a study protocol, completing the study, and publishing a paper from results of the study.”

The in-person component of MECOR will focus more on applying knowledge, whereas the video component will be designed for pre-class review.

As before, the goal of MECOR remains, which is to build capacity for conducting research on respiratory diseases, critical illnesses and sleep disorders in LMICs. Adds Dr. Hopewell, “We don’t yet know how to measure capacity building, but we are collaborating with a group from the University of Liverpool to develop indicators for success (or failure).”

Dr. Hopewell has very recently begun implementation on a limited scale in India and Indonesia. Journal publication still excites him. “Seeing the projects developed by MECOR students come to fruition is really rewarding,” he says.

In fall 2018, Dr. Hopewell will be a lead speaker at the first WHO Ministerial Conference on tuberculosis. It is to be one of the highest level meetings on TB.