More than 30 representatives from European accreditation institutions/bodies and medical schools attended the kick-off meeting on quality assurance in undergraduate medical education from a cross-national perspective. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for a broader discussion of the AMSE initiative to implement a uniform quality standard in Europe for medical schools and affiliated teaching hospitals, their education programmes and the verification by recognised quality assurance agencies.
AMSE president Peter Dieter introduced into the topic in the beginning of the assembly and pointed out the current status, problems, risks and potential solution. Thereafter, the participants discussed intensively experiences with existing quality management instruments, potential benefits of the implementation of a Europe-wide quality standard for undergraduate medical education and how a verification and accreditation process could be implemented. The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) “Global Standards Basic Medical Education for Quality Improvement” provide well recognised global quality standards for these purposes.
Among the participants was a general consent that the next step to be undertaken is to clarify the need for a Europe-wide quality assurance programme that applies to all of its medical schools and affiliated teaching hospitals and their education programmes. A collection of current positive and negative practice examples in Europe is part of the clarification. On this basis, further steps then can be undertaken such as consideration of national and international requirements, involvement of various stakeholders, political lobby work as well as technical and practical aspects in the implementation of such a quality assurance system.
The meeting closed with the attendees’ expression to support the initiative on a Europe-wide, standardised quality assurance procedure for undergraduate medical education and that this should be persuaded further under the leadership of AMSE.