Quality of Medical Education at Risk from Growing Number of Medical Schools

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Concern that the quality of medical education is suffering as a result of the growing number of medical schools throughout the world has been expressed at the World Medical Association's General Assembly in Helsinki.

Dr Hans Karle, President of the World Federation for Medical Education, said that over the last 10 years there had been nearly a doubling of the number of medical schools from around 1300 in 1995 to nearly 2000 today.

"The result is that the quality of education in some schools is not good enough', he said. 'Some of these schools are badly needed, but many are being set up simply as businesses to attract students who cannot get into medical schools in their own countries".

The WMA has now added its support to the World Federation's global standards programme which has been set up to try to improve and implement quality standards for medical education throughout the world. This programme has now resulted in a trilogy of global standards covering all three phases of medical education ? basic medical education, postgraduate medical education and continuing professional development.

Dr Delon Human, secretary general of the WMA, said: "The WMA and WFME both strive to establish the highest possible standards of medical education throughout the world. We commend the WFME for their work and we will be encouraging our national medical associations and physicians to support this programme in their countries.

Only by raising the standard of medical education can we help to raise the quality of health care for our patients throughout the world".

For further information please see WFME website: http://www.wfme.org