China Medical University: Defining Competency-Based Medical Education

CMB President Lincoln Chen with CMU President Zhao Qun

Lincoln Chen gave a lecture on Rural Health Workers for All: Realizing China’s 20th Century Dream to about 250 students at China Medical University (CMU) in Shenyang on March 12. Dr. Chen noted that China’s 20th-century dream—through the eras of Sun Yatsen, Chiang Kaishek, and Mao Zedong—has been that all of China’s people would gain universal access to modern medical services. While great progress has been made in extending lifespans, curbing infectious disease, and improving nutrition, China’s disadvantaged groups have not yet been able to enjoy the same level of access and quality of healthcare that are available to more privileged populations.

CMU is a leading medical university in medical education, especially in training and retaining rural healthcare workers. With CMB grant support, CMU educators are investigating “competency-based education,” pioneering distance education, and launching new residency training programs that emphasize patient communications, ethics, and professionalism through tutorship, case studies, practice-based learning, electronic portfolios, and role-playing – all backed by testing and evaluation. CMU shares common concern with China’s other leading medical universities in adopting a needs-based approach to training a new generation of physicians.