CME Goal:
Get a Global Game Plan
By Tamar Hosansky, Editor, Medical Meetings Magazine

MONTREAL—Continuing medical education providers need a global game plan to address public health issues that cross national boundaries, said M. Roy Schwartz, MD, President, China Medical Board of New York, during his keynote address at the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Global Alliance for Medical Education. Held June 25 to 27 at the McGill Faculty Club in Montréal, the conference brought together about 100 CME professionals from around the world to discuss physician education trends and partnership opportunities.

Dr. Schwartz pointed out that international problems such as famine, obesity, and bioterrorism require new healthcare education models, and urged CME providers to develop bold ideas. "In my opinion a new civilization is emerging," he said. "Is there any reason why medicine and specifically medical education will be left out of the transformation? We have to begin to think of medicine as a global profession. The old paradigms have no relevance--the world is entirely different."

To begin the process of redefining medicine as a global profession, Dr. Schwartz reported on an exciting project developed by the Institute for International Medical Education (IIME) and sponsored by the China Medical Board of New York. IIME brought together groups of educational and health policy experts, as well as representatives of international medical education organizations to define the knowledge, skills, professional behavior, and ethics that all physicians worldwide should possess. During the second phase of this ambitious project, the "global minimum essential requirements" (GMER) identified by the experts will be implemented in a number of Chinese medical schools. In the third phase, the outcomes of the educational experiment will be shared with the global education community.

Much to the surprise of the project's participants, Dr. Schwartz said, the values identified in China and the U.S. turned out to be identical. "If the values in the medical profession are the same in China and the U.S., a global set of values for the medical profession is possible," he concluded.