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Fill the gap between traditional and new era: The medical educational reform in Taiwan

Wei‑Chun Chenga,b, Tsung‑Ying Chena, Ming‑Shinn Leeb*

aDepartment of Anesthesiology, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation and Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan, bDepartment of Education and Human Potentials Development, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien, Taiwan

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Open Access funded by Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation



The 7‑year medical education program in Taiwan has been established since 1949. More than 60 years later, many medical professionals have observed and voiced its deficiencies following the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome. The deficiencies are three‑fold: (1) specialties are excessively institutionalized, (2) students engage in passive learning and memorization, and (3) passing one written national examination serves as the means of granting permanent physician qualification. The situation has aroused concerns and discussions among medical professionals and educators for a new medical education program. Authorized by the Conference of Deans of Medical Schools in Taiwan, Prof. Chyi‑Her Lin assembled a team for planning medical curricular reform. Subsequently, Prof. Shan‑Chwen Chang organized a task force team which has been monitoring the new 6‑year program since 2013. The aims of medical reform by Prof. Lin are (1) to eliminate the specialty training part, (2) to use innovative teaching methods to motivate students to learn proactively, and (3) to implement competency‑based medical education. Now, the first class of physicians will enter the workplace in 2019, subject to various clinical challenges.
Keywords: Competency‑based medical education, Educational reform, Undergraduate training


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