Quality Assurance of Undergraduate Medical Education in Israel by Continuous Monitoring and Prioritization of the Accreditation Standards

Jochanan Benbassat, Reuben Baumal, and Robert Cohen


External accreditation reviews of undergraduate medical curricula play an important role in their quality assurance. However, these reviews occur only at 4–10-year intervals and are not optimal for the immediate identification of problems related to teaching. Therefore, the Standards of Medical Education in Israel require medical schools to engage in continuous, ongoing monitoring of their teaching programs for compliance with accreditation standards. In this paper, we propose the following: (1) this monitoring be assigned to independent medical education units (MEUs), rather than to an infrastructure of the dean’s office, and such MEUs to be part of the school governance and draw their authority from university institu¬tions; and (2) the differences in the importance of the accreditation standards be addressed by discerning between the “most important” standards that have been shown to improve student well-being and/or patient health outcomes; “important” standards associated with student learning and/or performance; “possibly important” standards with face validity or conflicting evidence for validity; and “least important” standards that may lead to undesirable consequences. According to this proposal, MEUs will evolve into entities dedicated to ongoing monitoring of the education program for compliance with accreditation standards, with an authority to implement interventions. Hopefully, this will provide MEUs and faculty with the common purpose of meeting accreditation requirements, and an agreed-upon prioritization of accreditation standards will improve their communication and recommendations to faculty.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2022;13(3):e0023