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Statement of the problem
At present, medicine suffers from out-of-date information and technologies. Physicians often treat the patients incorrectly because “extensive and fast advancements in biomedical sciences created a significant delay in receiving relevant and update information in medical practice” (Masic, Ciric, & Pulia, 2009, p. 898). Medical education requires thorough quality assessment and studies improvement since it is critical for medical educators to meet the needs of their learners; another reason is that medical educators are “held accountable for the outcomes of their interventions” (Kern, 1998, p. 4). This being the reason, medical educators should focus on helping the students to learn; to do this, they should incorporate the use of technology in the learning process, pay due attention to clinical and practical teaching, and concentrate on educational measurement and students’ assessment (Newble and Cannon, 2001). Thus, quality assessment of medical education should begin with the assessment of the medical students’ academic achievements.
Quality assessment in medical education
Practical physicians are often involved in the assessment of trainees and other health professionals with the help of educational assessment tools and focused diagnostic tests (Epstein, 2007, p. 387). Epstein (2007) keeps to an idea that there are no flawless methods of assessment. However, “the use of multiple observations and several different assessment methods over time can practically compensate for flaws in any one method” (Epstein, 2007, p. 388). Portfolios, though they are often underestimated, are regarded as one of the based ways to ensure professional development because “they have much to offer both learners and teachers” (Challis, 1999, p. 370). The effect of portfolios on the student learning is immense, which is why they can contribute greatly into the improvement of medical education. As far as improvement studies in medical education are concerned, faculty members often have to participate in the instructional improvement programs that help them to identify “areas of personal strength and weakness in their teaching and, where needed, to develop strategies for change” (Vanek & Kenndey, 2008, p. 2).
Therefore, special attention has to be paid to the quality assessment of the medical education, as well as to the improvement studies that increase the competency of the healthcare professionals and, correspondingly, contribute into raising the level of the healthcare delivered to the patients who count on the physician’s help.
Challis, M. (1999). Portfolio-based learning and assessment in medical education. Medical Teacher, 21(4), 370-386.
Epstein, R.M. (2007). Assessment in Medical Education. The New England Journal of Medicine, 356, 387-396.
Kern, David E. (1998). Curriculum Development for Medical Education: A 6-step approach. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.
Masic I., Ciric D., & Pulja A. (2009). Quality assessment of medical education and use of information technology. Studies in Health technology and Informatics, 150, 898-902.
Newble, D. & Cannon, R.A. (2001). Handbook for medical teachers. Dordrecht; Boston: Kluwer Academic.
Vanek, E.P. & Kennedy, W.R. (2008). Planning for instructional improvement in medical education: A case study. Journal of Instructional Development, 4(3), 2-5.