The psycho-pedagogical professional improvement of the university teacher in medical education: challenge or utopia?


The psycho-pedagogical professional improvement of the university teacher in medical education: challenge or utopia?

La superación profesional psicopedagógica del docente universitario en educación médica: ¿reto o utopía?


Yayly Huguet Blanco1*
Frank Quintana Gómez2
Jesús Yasoda Endo Milán1


1 Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Academic Vice-Rector's Office. Cuba.
Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. "José Luis Miranda" Pediatric Hospital. Villa Clara. Cuba.


* Author for correspondence. Email:




Higher medical education and especially the training of physicians are facing important challenges and face the challenge of assuming numerous changes to guarantee the quality required in their training processes, satisfy the growing demands and fulfill their social commitment. In an increasingly complex scene, marked by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of preparing university professors to meet the proposed objectives is evident. It is the purpose of the authors to share experiences on the improvement of teachers in current educational contexts, communicate the deficiencies in the psycho-pedagogical preparation of university professors of medical education found in the research carried out and propose the use of a psycho-pedagogical professional improvement program for teachers of the Medicine degree, prepared as a result of the aforementioned investigation.

MeSH: faculty; training courses; education, medical.


La educación médica superior y en especial la formación de médicos, se encuentran ante importantes desafíos y enfrentan el reto de asumir numerosos cambios para garantizar la calidad requerida en sus procesos de formación, dar satisfacción a las crecientes demandas y cumplir su encargo social. En un escenario cada vez más complejo, marcado por las afectaciones de la pandemia de la COVID-19, se evidencia la importancia de la preparación de los profesores universitarios para cumplimentar los objetivos propuestos. Es propósito de los autores compartir experiencias sobre la superación de los docentes en los contextos educativos actuales, comunicar las deficiencias en la preparación psicopedagógica de profesores universitarios de la educación médica encontradas en investigación realizada y proponer la utilización de un programa de superación profesional psicopedagógica para los docentes de la carrera de Medicina, elaborado como salida de la referida investigación.

DeSC: docentes; cursos de capacitación; educación médica.



Submitted: 25/10/2020
Accepted: 20/01/2021



The world is developing at an impressive speed and every day an extraordinary number of transformations surprise in all spheres, which do not stop and whose potential seems infinite. (1)

Higher education systems, in close connection with the rest of society are affected by demographic variations, internationalization and globalization, the accumulation of information and the technological revolution. Universities face the challenge of adapting quickly to each change in order to satisfy the growing demands and fulfill its social commitment.(1,2) The accumulation of significant changes generates in each epoch a breakdown of the new university that is needed with the university that precedes it.

In Cuba, the Ministry of Higher Education offers priority attention to the control of the work carried out by its institutions as a fundamental way to achieve a steady improvement of quality. In the opinion of the authors and coinciding with the bibliography consulted,(3,4,5) the professional preparation of the teaching staff is decisive in the quality of the academic processes to which we aspire.

The professionalization of the university teacher, from a process conception, constitutes a requirement that comes from the social development itself. Its continuous updating is essential on the basis of a high theoretical preparation in the science to be taught and the increasing mastery of the conceptions of didactics, until achieving the acquisition of pedagogical skills; Researchers' criterion(1,3,4,5) to which the authors assume and consider a possible goal and not a utopia.

As stated by Villarroel et al.:(5) "Teaching in today's university requires different knowledge, skills and attitudes than those that were needed 20 years ago".

Cuban higher medical education and especially the training of doctors are facing important challenges due to the high number of students in the classrooms and the increase, in recent years, of new teachers. The context has become more complex due to the constant threat and interruptions to the training process, generated by the health contingency of facing COVID-19.

It is a requirement for medical science institutions to form a faculty committed to current time, with teaching skills that allow them to attend the different rhythms and ways of learning,(4) while satisfactorily assuming the redesign of study programs in those that must guarantee the interconnection between their general objectives and the professional training model to which they aspire, without renouncing to the systematic increase in academic quality.(5,6)

In general, the professor of medical sciences and in particular the doctor begins its teaching activity in the very early stages of care performance, when it still needs a system that guides him in his permanent and continuous training.(6,7) In the current study plans for the Medicine degree and in the job opportunities profile of the general practitioner, reviewed by the authors, it is stated that this professional in the exercise of its teaching-educational function is responsible for its self-education, and once it´s graduated, it will be able to continue its development through academic training and professional improvement activities, and it will assume teaching functions.(7,8) On the other hand, in the corresponding curricular networks, the authors showed that it is not specified how to work these requirements of the professional training model, leaving pedagogical preparation to postgraduate education and personal initiative and management.(6,8)

In the specialized literature, numerous works propose models for the pedagogical training of university professors in general(7) but few refer specifically to the sui generis characteristics of health professionals who act as teachers. The "doctors-teachers" or "teachers-doctors", whose mission is to train new generations of professionals, need knowledge about the advances of pedagogy in order to apply each new methodology in the teaching-learning process. It is not enough to be a competent healthcare professional to achieve proficiency in teaching performance.

In their research, the authors found gaps in the psycho-pedagogical professional improvement of the teachers of the Medicine degree. The results of the needs diagnosis showed a deficient preparation in the epistemological and theoretical-methodological knowledge of psycho-pedagogy; little mastery of learning methods, styles and strategies; inadequacies in the conception and follow-up of the psycho-pedagogical diagnosis and educational orientation; little application of computing and educational research methodology; and lastly, the almost null integration of interculturality into educational practice.(8)

For these reasons, it is considered necessary to increase studies on the situation of the improvement of these teachers in the psycho-pedagogy field, a discipline that offers tools that facilitate the identification of educational needs based on learning and personal development of the students, at the same time that allows the search for solutions to different teaching problems including preventive action.(7,8)

The authors also consider appropriate to resume the application of the psycho-pedagogical professional improvement program for teachers of the Medicine degree proposed as a product from the aforementioned research.(8) This document maintains an adequate scientific and updating level, supported by foundations, principles and contemporary psycho-pedagogical demands. Its use regains interest in the current context of intermittences in the processes and the need for distance learning since it has been assessed by the criteria of specialists as suitable, applicable, relevant, transcendent and coherent in its structure and conception.

It is time to reflect on the future resizing of the methodological activity in the medical university from the efficient work in the base of the subjects and disciplines teaching staffs passing through the intermediate levels of management until reaching the board of directors of the institution as the utmost responsible for quality in the training of future health professionals.



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2. Rodríguez Varela D, de León La fuente LA, Galarza López J. Los retos actuales de las instituciones de educación superior en el área de la gestión. Rev Universidad y Sociedad [Internet]. 2015 [citado 24/10/2020];7(2):[aprox. 4 p.]. Disponible en:

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5. Villarroel VA, Bruna DV. Competencias Pedagógicas que Caracterizan a un Docente Universitario de Excelencia: Un Estudio de Caso que Incorpora la Perspectiva de Docentes y Estudiantes. Formación Universitaria [Internet]. 2017 [citado 24/10/2020];10(4):[aprox. 5 p.].

6. Vela J, Salas R, Pujals R, Quintana M, Pérez G. Los planes de estudio de medicina en Cuba de 1959 a 2010. Educ Med Super [Internet]. 2016 [citado 24/10/2020];30(1):[aprox. 20 p.]. Disponible en:

7. Aguiar Santiago X, Rodríguez Pérez L. Modelo de formación pedagógica continua para el desarrollo de competencias pedagógicas en profesores universitarios. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2020 [citado 24/10/2020];12(3):[aprox. 17 p.]. Disponible en:

8. Huguet, Y. Programa de superación profesional psicopedagógica para docentes de la carrera de medicina en Villa Clara [tesis]. Repositorio Institucional DSPACE UCLV. [Internet]. 2018. Universidad Central "Marta Abreu" de Las Villas. Cuba. Disponible en:



Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



Contribution of the authors

The three authors searched the bibliography, studied it and selected the content for its relevance to the topic, then they wrote and approved the final version of the article.



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