The AMSE Conference 2008 in Barcelona ran from 5-7 June 2008. The theme of the event was "Quality Improvement in the Medical School".

What do we mean by "Quality Improvement in a Medical School"? There is clearly a need to enhance the standard of medical education, and to be able to measure and understand what we are doing as we teach. Internationally, there are a wide range of processes for quality assurance in medical education. 

However, the role of the Medical School is not just undergraduate medical education: it includes postgraduate training, research, and interaction with clinical service. For example, there is little point in working to improve education in the lecture room and the laboratory if medical students cannot be taught in a clinical service of high-quality. AMSE is interested in ensuring that clinical care is as good as possible, and also that clinical care is structured in such a way as to ensure that students are given the best opportunities and experience. 

Similarly, a Medical School that teaches well, but does not ensure high standards in its research training, or in its research, will fail. Again, there are many processes internationally for the evaluation and enhancement of research performance. 

The conference examined the way in which Medical School staff can improve what they do in all aspects of the Medical School’s work. It included overviews of quality improvement from a perspective outside medicine, discussion of Europe-wide practice and regulation, and examination of the methods and experiences currently in operation in quality improvement. The conference examined methodologies that need to be developed for the future, and produced an agreed declaration on the state of the art of quality improvement in the Medical School, and of actions for the future.