WFME has published a paper setting out an expert consensus on the criteria for the establishment of a new medical school. The criteria provide a seven point framework outlining the key points for decision-making when considering if a new medical school is needed and is feasible. The guidelines are intended to promote the development of only essential and high-quality medical schools.
The 2016 paper gives guidance on the key questions to be addressed in planning a medical programme, from the perspective of demand or need, and feasibility. Many of the prompt questions require detailed planning, risk assessment and action beginning some months, or even years, before the programme commences.
Intended audience: governments or national authorities, regulatory or accrediting agencies, and universities
Seven criteria for a new medical school
- Establishing the need - the future demand for medical graduates and for medical research
- Programme outline - the type of institution, the number of students, the characteristics of the programme, the planned assessment system
- Clinical facilities - a sufficient number of patients, clinical training in both primary and secondary care, for the duration of the course
- Economic resources and business plan - initial start-up costs and the running costs including buildings, equipment, staff salaries and benefits, student support
- Physical facilities - including teaching facilities, research laboratories, clinical skills laboratories, library and IT facilities, local infrastructure including roads, transport, power and sewerage
- Staffing, including academic, clinical, administrative and leadership - recruitment and retention, training, support and development
- Students - student numbers and recruitment pool, availability of student resources and student support