Twelve Tips for Medical Education Reform (Published 2015)
Apr 06, 2016
Dong H, Sherer R, Zhou Y, Yang J, Yu B, Fan J, Yu X, Morgan I and Cooper B
A review of the literature reveals that there are some commonly used practices of medical education reform, though there is no one-size-fits-all formula. The tips in this paper outline a practical multifaceted approach to reform in medical education.
Background: A review of the literature reveals that there are some commonly used practices of medical education reform, though there is no one-size-fits-all formula.
Aim: The following tips outline a practical multifaceted approach to reform in medical education, including some for reform efforts that involve an international partnership.
Method: These tips are based on the available literature and the authors’ experience in medical education reform in a cross-cultural context. Each recommendation is explained and then briefly illustrated where appropriate with the experience of a medical school in China that recently carried out successful reform with the adaptation of a U.S. curriculum and assistance from a U.S. medical school.
Conclusion: These tips can provide useful rules-of-thumb to medical educators and medical school leaders who are interested in curriculum reform. Some are particularly useful for reforms that involve international collaboration.
As someone who spends a lot of time visiting medical institutions throughout the world and being very involved with curricula reform in China, I enjoyed reading this article. It was well written and I do not think that anyone can argue against the 12 tips clearly illustrated. The use of established educational institutions to facilitate the development of less fortunate or less educationally advanced institutions is now almost commonplace, so I feel the paper is very topical.
I would have encouraged the authors however to consider the place of the Social Accountability of medical schools in their tips. Transplanting curricula from the 'west " to the "east" is frequently associated with rejection when the transplant fails. The authors rightly point out the value of communication in their development, but this communication needs to be wider, involving the community the medical school serves- the engaging and employing authorities, the NGOs, the voluntary sectors and most importantly the users of the healthcare system- the patients
Most importantly, and specifically in China, agreement to change also needs higher level communication and changes in top down management to assure long term sustainability.