Healthcare is changing at an unprecedented rate and at multiple fronts. Medical science has increased our understanding of the body and created an explosion of new information. However, medical schools are not or only slowly introducing changes in their curriculum. Teachers at many medical faculties are not educated to teach; they are doctors and mostly lack knowledge of how to show their skills to their students.
As medical students are directly exposed to medical curricula, they are the first quality-check of medical education and they should rightfully have an influence on the creation of new curricula and curriculum development. The second check of medical education is if the graduates are able to meet the standards of the medical profession, of their healthcare systems and the needs of their communities. From IFMSAs experience, it is often the medical students who are the strongest proponents for adapting their education to the needs of their community.
We are concerned about facing the needs of healthcare in a modern society and are willing to commit to making sure our education prepares us for them. Scientific data show that modern medical curricula are a lot more likely to teach students in an appropriate way in order to create doctors equipped with various skills and knowledge. Although there are a number of innovative approaches to teaching medicine, partly based on findings of cognitive science, change in medical curricula occurs slowly. The need for change is either not recognized or ignored in many universities.
Here, SCOME enters the game. We try to promote modern medical education. Convinced by many positive examples we go on that mission by teaching and training students, teachers and professors, exchanging experiences and spreading information. As a global grassroots organization of medical students locally active in more than 100 countries worldwide, IFMSA has made meaningful contributions to improve medical education over the last decades.
Examples of recent achievements
Formation of Training Medical Education Trainers (TMET)
Training Medical Education Trainers is a workshop initiated by SCOME that educates enthusiastic medical students about all the basics of medical education. Throughout a 3-4 day workshop, they can pass on this knowledge to medical students worldwide and start advocacy for medical education issues in their country. By using the TMET Regulations, we can ensure reproducibility of the event on a national level anywhere worldwide!
Establishing a Public Medical Education Resources Drive
A public Google Drive folder has been established to be a growing source of all relevant documents and resources related to medical education. You can access the document from the link in the section Important Documents.
Continuous Capacity Building
An online bi-monthly post is shared on the SCOME Facebook Group to educate and increase awareness regarding a specific medical education topic. The posts are usually interactive, involving questions to the participants, videos, or competitions with mini-prizes.