At the third meeting of the preparatory committee for establishment of Japan Accreditation Council for Medical Education (JACME) held in July 2015, I was unexpectedly appointed as President of JACME. While it was a great honor for me as someone who had engaged in medical education for a long period of time, I also remember feeling gravity of the responsibility associated with the appointment.
In 2010, the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), which issues a certificate for post-graduate clinical training in US to graduates of non-US medical schools, made an announcement that only graduates from medical schools accredited based on the global standards would be eligible for taking the ECFMG examination after 2023. Although this announcement was among the factors which prompted the movement toward establishment of JACME, I believe it is an epoch-making event in the history of medical education in Japan that as many as 80 medical schools throughout the country have jointly started the new organization dedicated for improving the quality of medical education.
Before JACME was established, certified evaluation and accreditation had been performed in Japan only for each university as an entire educational institution, but not specifically for the area of medical education. In response to the announcement by ECFMG, designing of the system for evaluating medical education program was initiated and proceeded by the Medical Education Quality Assurance Review Committee (chaired by Dr. Nobuo Nara) of the Association of Japan Medical Colleges and as a part of the University Reform Project by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. During this process, pilot evaluations were performed at totally eighteen medical schools, and the evaluation of Tokyo Medical University held in September 2016 was inspected by three delegate members of World Federation of Medical Education (WFME).
After repeated communications and discussions between JACME members, especially those of the General Affaires and Liaison Committee, and the evaluation committee of WFME, JACME was officially recognized on March 18, 2017, as the organization for accrediting the medical education program in Japan. I’d like to thank Dr. Nobuo Nara, full-time director of JACME, and other JACME members for their effort, as well as Tokyo Medical University for the cooperation during the site-visit inspection by WFME.
From now on, all of the medical schools in Japan will be formally evaluated by JACME that was recognized by WFME. It is certainly expected that the task and the responsibility of JACME will be increased accordingly. I’d like to conclude my address by sincerely requesting all the medical schools in Japan for further support and cooperation for JACME.