OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore the perceptions of medical students in a developing medical education system towards international accreditation.
METHODS: Applicants to an Internal Medicine residency program in an academic medical center in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-International (ACGME-I) were surveyed between May and June 2014. The authors analysed responses using inductive qualitative thematic analysis to identify emergent themes.
RESULTS: Seventy-eight of 96 applicants (81%) completed the survey. The vast majority of respondents 74 (95%) reported that ACGME-I accreditation was an important factor in selecting a residency program. Five major themes were identified, namely improving the quality of education, increasing opportunities, meeting high international standards, improving program structure, and improving patient care. Seven (10%) of respondents felt they would be in a position to pursue fellowship training or future employment in the United States upon graduation from an ACGME-I program.
CONCLUSIONS: UAE trainees have an overwhelmingly positive perception of international accreditation, with an emphasis on improving the quality of training provided. Misperceptions, however, exist about potential opportunities available to graduates of ACGME-I programs. As more countries adopt the standards of the ACGME-I or other international accrediting bodies, it is important to recognize and foster trainee "buy-in" of educational reform initiatives.
- graduate medical education
- international medical education
ASJC Scopus subject areas