The Japan Accreditation Council for Medical Education (JACME) was constituted to strengthen and advance medical education, and to contribute to public health, health care, welfare, and global health, by assuring the quality of medical education in Japan from an international standpoint. To accomplish this mission, the organization is designed to carry out a dispassionate and proper evaluation of medical education programs in Japan, on the basis of the schools’ founding principles and the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Global Standards for Quality Improvement of Medical Education.
Background of JACME
Providing the community with quality medical care is the essential mission of all organizations that train medical doctors. Medical schools must ensure that they offer high quality medical education through continual self-evaluation and external evaluation.
Given the recent globalization of health care, it is essential that Japan develop an evaluation system that is specific to medical education and complies with global standards.
JACME was established to conduct critical review of medical education programs in Japan.
In December 2011, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology held an executive council, entitled the “Investigation Committee on the Enrolled Student Quota in Medical Schools in the Future.” One report pointed out that, “to certify that, although Japan has not conducted evaluation specific to the field of medical education, medical education in Japan is of international-standard levels, it is important to establish a system of evaluation specific to the field of medical education in accordance with the World Federation for Medical Education Global Standards for the Quality Improvement of Medical Education.”
“The Second Basic Plan for the Promotion of Education” (a Cabinet Decision made in June 2013) states that, “activities for developing and enhancing field-specific quality assurance in university education will be promoted, in order to develop highly trained professionals.”
In a global context, the US Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) announced in September 2010 that, “only applications from graduates of medical schools that have been accredited in accordance with global standards will be accepted after 2023.”
It was suggested that Japan should establish an internationally acceptable system of medical training meeting global standards, as mentioned above. A Medical Education Quality Assurance Review Committee was established by the Association of Japan Medical Colleges (AJMC) in 2011; it discussed establishing a system to evaluate and accredit medical education. At the same time, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, a collaborative process was launched, with the goal of creating an internationally acceptable quality accreditation mechanism for medical education.
Both the ECFMG and World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) guidelines require that such an organization be “an organization authorized by the government and/or all medical schools,” which calls for “the evaluation and accreditation process to be carried out in accordance with global standards.” These issues were discussed by the Medical Education Quality Assurance Review Committee; JACME was established to carry out the program evaluation of medical education.
It was also proposed to draw up Japanese evaluation criteria based on the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Global Standards for the Quality Improvement of Medical Education.
JACME is directed not only to provide Japanese faculties of medicine and medical schools with the standards and guidelines they need to ensure that their graduates qualify for application to an ECFMG examination, but also to improve the quality of medical education and to assure the quality of medical education in accordance with international standards. In addition, JACME is committed to achieve the general mission of medical schools: “developing resourceful medical doctors to provide high quality health care to all people.”