Using western standards for residency curricula abroad

Recently, I had a dicussion on how we can apply the standards and culture of our medical education system in the US to build and improve the residency curricula in East Africa. While it’s important to always take into account local culture, resources and epidemiolo in building a curriculum – I do think there is some merit in thinking about the western system and how we can apply it.

One of the deficits in Africa, in terms of medical education, is the lack of an accreditation body like the ACGME and/or RRC that set standards which are then enforced. Programs in Africa are not held to any outside standards and as a result the quality of care provided by physicians trained regionally is not predictable. However, in building a curriculum for a residency program in East Africa, it would be helpful to try to use the ACGME Core Competencies as a guide.

As a reminder, these core competencies are:

  1. Medical Knowledge
  2. Patient Care
  3. Practice-based learning and improvement
  4. System-based learning
  5. Interpersonal skills and Communication
  6. Professionalism

Based on what I have seen and heard, I think the areas that need the most attention are Patient Care (including here current evidence-based practices) and Interpersonal Skills and Communication (especially in areas such as end-of-life care, palliative care etc). The institutions need to put in place Quality Improvement projects/programs so that PBL can occur – without any practice data, it’s difficult to reflect.

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