Scaling up reforms in quality measurement for professional health education

Published: Mon 28 Feb 2022, 5:28 PM

Last updated: Mon 28 Feb 2022, 5:30 PM

In a bid to effectively articulate the quality assessment roadmap and strategies for its implementation in health professions education, a three-day hybrid conference titled, ‘Quality Measurement in Health Professions Education — Revisiting the Metrics’ was held at Gulf Medical University on February 25, 2022. The forum aimed to create an opportunity for educators, regulatory bodies, healthcare authorities and public and private healthcare service providers to interact with experts in the fields of quality and assessment, share experiences, and come up with improved assessment Instruments



More than 30 speakers, scholars and leaders of innovations in health professions education, from 37 countries exchanged ideas and expertise at the conference. The meeting, organised by Gulf Medical University, was held in partnership with Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) Ministry of Education (UAE), Dubai Healthcare Authority (DHA) and Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE).

Drawing a participation of more than 3000 attendees, the conference was inaugurated with a keynote speech Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, director general, Dubai Healthcare Authority (DHA). He stated: “I am pleased to launch this global event today that’s associated with reconsideration of standards for teaching in the noble healthcare professions to keep pace with the world’s urgent need of a healthy and safe life.” He further stressed on having a common vision of what medical education should be in the future, the plans and strategies to be focused on being responsive to emergency conditions; as the DHA continues to look forward to all recommendations to improve the standards of medical education and the required assessment tools to make world a healthier place.

On a similar note, the representative from CAA Prof Amjad Qandil, shared several reforms being undertaken presently and in the future by CAA to improve the standards of assessment in health profession education to bring better outcomes. He was happy with the positive outcome of the workshops conducted and said this would help to improve the level of education in the UAE.

In addition, Professor Hossam Hamdy, chancellor, GMU, stated: “Over the last 25 years, health professions education has changed from input orientation to output and outcome orientation. From how much the graduate knows to what he/she can do, from time-based education to trust-based education. The community will ask us the question: can we trust the graduate of this system of education? Can I trust him or her to treat me, my child, or my wife? This is fitness for purpose. This is quality education in its simple but practical form.”

Prof Hamdy further elaborated, “We should be asking ourselves how educational quality and accreditation systems developed more than 100 years at the end of the nineteenth century are still used in the mid 21st century. Systems measuring programmes by counting hours of students sitting in a classroom and teachers giving lectures. While, now learning takes place everywhere, distributed, and distant using rapidly changing technology.”

The conference also provided educators with the opportunity to benefit from presentations, workshops and discussions made by experts, focusing on new approaches and metrics in assessing competencies related to different categories of health professions education in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy, and other allied professions. The third day focused on conducting in-person professional group workshops, where 250 faculty from various universities in the UAE joined hands, to come up with the competencies which the graduate shall acquire and how best it is assessed. This combined effort between academia, regulatory bodies and healthcare providers were aimed to ensure that a graduate can provide best healthcare to the people of UAE and globally.


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