The College of Medicine at Qatar University (CMED-QU) has signed an agreement with National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), an independent, not-for-profit US-based organisation that serves the public through its high-quality assessments of healthcare professionals.
NBME will support the college in aligning its standards with those of the US by leveraging CMED’s student assessment system, supporting the establishment of a CMED student examination items bank, and by conducting regional benchmarking studies on test design.
The agreement was signed by QU vice president for Medical Education Dr Egon Toft and NBME president Dr Donald E Melnick. NBME vice president for international programmes Dr Brownell Anderson was also present.
As a first step, a team of experts from NBME will engage CMED faculty and administrators in various activities that aim to further enhance medical education and establish an assessment system that maximises the quality of the college’s graduates.
The college’s curriculum and current assessment framework will also be reviewed by the NBME team to ensure their alignment with international standards. College administrators will be provided with recommendations on a range of topics including possible curriculum revision; timing and nature of locally-developed assessments; the most appropriate use of the portfolio of NBME assessment instruments available to North American and international medical schools; potential NBME assistance on the development of assessments to meet the needs of CMED curriculum, and development of an item bank.
Recommendations will also be made on development of faculty expertise in teaching, curriculum design and design, construction, and interpretation of valid and reliable formative and summative examinations.
CMED associate dean for Academic Affairs Prof Hossam Hamdy, said: “The College of Medicine’s focus on quality, safe medical practice and optimal patient care is in line with NBME’s mission. Based on the US Medical Licensing Examination, the college prepares its students for this and similar international licensing examinations to ensure that the quality of its graduates is aligned with the best international standards in medical practice."
Dr Anderson added: “It is exciting to work with a new medical school from the beginning of its programme and I hope I will have many more opportunities to observe the progress of the school in the months and years to come. The educational programme is truly innovative and aligned with high quality, state-of-the-art assessment methods, all of which hold great promise for the new school, its graduates and for Qatar.”