Charles Boelen, Markley H. Boyer
International Association of Medical Colleges, 2001
"The need for medical schools to prepare “products” (graduates, research results, models of health service, etc.) that are compatible with the priority health needs of the public has been chronicled repeatedly but there is little formal data to document the existence of the current global dissonance between the medical training process and better solutions to the world’s health problems. For many years, the World Health Organization has published a World Directory of Medical Schools providing basic information on the organization of medical schools worldwide. The seventh and latest edition, issued in the year 2000, offers a considerably enlarged scope of data on the world’s medical education system. Between 1996 and 1998, WHO initiated a comprehensive survey requesting all world medical schools (1657) and national health ministries to respond to a survey of over 250 questions concerning various aspects of medical school education, research and community service. The results of the questionnaire form the basis of this report; it is a view of the “assets and liabilities” of the current global system of educating physicians. In addition to giving current information about the schools, it also draws certain conclusions and provides recommendations for the future. The report seeks to highlight basic features relative to medical schools’ contributions in improving health services delivery and responding to society’s needs. It offers an analysis of the system of educating physicians for future roles but does not pretend to provide either a single guideline for all medical schools or a universal blueprint for immediate change; the data outlines only some aspects of the current educational situation. Its recommendations must be adapted to meet the needs of specific institutions and communities."