The IIME China Project


Background information on the aims of the IIME, and an outline of the three phases of implementation of our project.

Phase I
Based on existing work from many countries (GMC, CANMeds, Scottish Doctor, AAMC) an international panel of medical education experts worked over 18 months to develop a set of sixty minimum and essential outcome-based competencies for graduating medical students. These competencies were written such that they could all be measured, and were categorized into seven domains:  1) Professional behavior and ethics 2) Scientific foundations 3) Communication skills 4) Clinical skills 5) Population health 6) Information management 7) Scientific thinking. A meeting of international assessment experts subsequently met to identify the best methods for evaluating these competencies, and created a blueprint for the examination using three assessment methods:  Multiple-choice examination, objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), and longitudinal faculty assessment. This blueprint was then used to create a set of examinations in China.  Full background information on Phase I can be found in the "References" section of this site.

Phase II
Phase II focused on the application of Phase I in China, in which the IIME was invited to examine all 7th-year (graduating) students at eight leading medical schools in China using a 150-item multiple choice examination, a 15-station objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), and a 16-item faculty observation form used at least once per month for three months on each student.  Each assessment type measured multiple domains of competence.  Once this set of assessments was completed, the IIME team had over 200,000 data points on graduating students at 8 schools, but no standard against which to measure these outcomes.  Using established educational methods, student-level standards were set for these examinations. Though this was the first set of international examination standards set in medical education of which we are aware, the process went at least as smoothly as our experiences with similar standard-setting processes at our individual institutions. We then set international school-level standards, using a novel process based on existing standard-setting technology.  The result of this work was a set of “report cards” for students, schools, and the Ministries of Health and Education in China – providing evidence of successes and areas in need for improvement. Full background information on Phase II can be found in the “References” section of this site.

Final Report of IIME Phases I and II
The final report of the first two phases of the IIME project is available here:

The IIME Project Final Report

(Microsoft Word format)

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