Skip to main content

Data from: Transforming medical education in Liberia through an international community of inquiry (2016 dataset)

Cite this dataset

Talbert-Slagle, Kristina (2023). Data from: Transforming medical education in Liberia through an international community of inquiry (2016 dataset) [Dataset]. Dryad.


A critical component of building capacity in Liberia’s physician workforce involves strengthening the country’s only medical school, A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine. Beginning in 2015, senior health sector stakeholders in Liberia invited faculty and staff from U.S. academic institutions and non-governmental organizations to join a partnership focused on improving undergraduate medical education in Liberia. Over the subsequent six years, the members of this partnership came together through an iterative, mutual-learning process and created what William Torbert et al describe as a “community of inquiry,” in which practitioners and researchers pair action and inquiry toward evidence-informed practice and organizational transformation. This community of inquiry developed around a few key institutional and interpersonal relationships but expanded over time. Incorporating faculty, practitioners, and students from Liberia and the U.S., the community of inquiry consistently focused on following the vision, goals, and priorities of leadership in Liberia, irrespective of funding source or institutional affiliation. The work of the community of inquiry has incorporated multiple mixed methods assessments, stakeholder discussions, strategic planning, and collaborative self-reflection, resulting in transformation of M.D. education in Liberia. We suggest that the community of inquiry approach reported here can serve as a model for others seeking to form sustainable, international global health partnerships focused on organizational transformation.


To develop the initial research study in 2016, a Yale faculty member and a group of Yale undergraduate students collaborated with Liberia’s Minister of Health and Minister of Education and a Liberian medical student appointed by the Minister of Health to adapt a validated survey instrument used by the Association of American Medical Colleges to fit the Liberian context, with the goal of identifying current challenges at AMD.20 The survey was administered to current AMD students, and respondents’ answers were compiled as summary statistics, followed by an examination of the tie-adjusted Spearman rank correlation between responses to questions and whether students had considered dropping out and/or had ever wondered about whether they would graduate. The data analysis team utilized this test statistic because it performs well with data that are skewed towards extremes and does not rely on standard assumptions of normality. The significance of each correlation value was tested at the standard p = 0.05 level. All data analysis was conducted using the R software package version 3.3.2.


President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Award: 4 UH6HA30738-05-12