Quality Assurance Programmes for Medical Schools Proposed by WMA

Quality assurance programmes to ensure that medical schools around the world deliver a high standard of medical education have been called for by the World Medical Association.

The Association says that well-planned and well-executed quality assurance programmes are essential to guarantee that medical schools meet the necessary goals for preparing practitioners for a medical career. These include applying the latest scientific knowledge to promoting health, preventing and curing human diseases, and imparting the ethical standards governing the thought and behaviour of physicians.

A new Declaration, named the Declaration of Chicago, was adopted at the WMA’s annual General Assembly in the city. It warns that there are many threats to the quality of basic medical education from the availability of infrastructure, clinical resources, faculty, and finances.

The Declaration says ‘The growth of basic medical education globally, with a rapid increase in the number of medical schools in some countries, raises concerns about the quality of graduates. A well-developed quality assurance program allows schools to identify and address conditions that threaten the quality of their basic medical education. Such programs need to be implemented as far as possible at medical schools around the world’.

WMA President Dr. Yoshitake Yokokura said: ‘We are calling on all our national medical association members to develop quality assurance programmes and to support and promote the development of national and regional accreditation and recognition systems for medical schools. Participation in the national accreditation system should be required for all medical schools within a country’.

The recommendations have been developed in partnership with the American Medical Association and its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative. This aims to create the medical school of the future to ensure that physicians are prepared to practice in the realities of modern health care environments.

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