Timeline of medical education

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This is a timeline of medical education, attempting to describe important events in the development of medical education.

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Time period Development summary
Ancient history Early medical traditions include those of Babylon, China, Egypt and India.[1] Scholars usually consider that medical education began with the ancient Greeks’ method of rational inquiry, which introduced the practice of observation and reasoning regarding disease.[2] The concepts of medical diagnosis, prognosis, and advanced medical ethics are intrduced by the Greeks.[1] Ayurveda is taught in India and traditional Chinese medicine develops.
Middle Ages Apprenticeship training in monastic infirmaries and hospitals dominates medical education during the early Middle Ages. Universities begin systematic training of physicians around the years 1220 in Italy.[1] A medical school is established in Salerno in southern Italy between the 9th and 11th centuries. During the same period, medicine and medical education flourish in the Muslim world at such centres as Baghdad, Cairo, and Córdoba.[2] Formal medical education system in Europe starts in the late Middle Ages, with the rise of the universities in what is now Northern Italy.[3]
16th – 17th centuries In Europe, the first biological revolution takes place, whose best pedagogical expression is that of Boerhave (known as "the father of physiology") and the school of Leyden.[4] In the 16th century, the Portuguese first introduce Western medicine into India.[5]
19th century In Europe, until well into century, there is a sharp distinction between academically trained “learned gentlemen” and practically trained surgeons.[3] The century is the great era of Paris, London, and Edinburgh, where hospital-based teaching departs from Oxford's and Cambridge's academic methods. Experimental methods and specialization are pivotal to the second biological revolution and modern scientific medicine.[4] Physiology, pathology, and bacteriology merge, transforming basic teaching. This change constituted the great German epoch. In the mid-19th century upheavals were such that yesterday's medicine was no longer relevant.[4] In China there exists only a small Imperial College, with the role limited to the preparation of physicians attached to the Imperial Palace.[6]
20th century At the turn of the century, Western medical studies are the ideal mechanism for a respectable social promotion. At the top of the aristocracy of knowledge sits the doctor.[4] Preparing students for medical practice is not considered an academic responsibility until well into the 20th century.[3] During the 1950s and 1960s, dissatisfaction with the medical curriculum increases in Europe and the United States. Curricular overload is rampant and prevents all efforts to make the course more practical. In Europe, the aim of establishing an international market for professionals results in a 1975 European Union directive determining the minimum length and nomenclature of postgraduate medical education programs.[3]

Full timeline

Year Event type Details Country
5th century BC Greek physician Hippocrates teaches and originates the oath that would become a credo for practitioners through the ages.[2] Greece
598 – 907 The Tang Dynasty creates the tai-yi-chu (great medical service), an early example of medical instruction supervised by the state.[6] China
931 Hundreds of physicians in Baghdad are screened, and only those qualified are allowed to practice medicine. During the Abbasid period, the rulers want to ensure that physicians are skilled enough to practice medicine. Passing oral and written examinations are required to get licensed.[7] Irak
1123 Medical school The Medical College of St Bartholomew’s Hospital is founded.[8][9][10] United Kingdom
1137 Medical school Medicine is taught at Montpellier, decades before the University of Montpellier is established.[8] France
1181 Policy William VIII of Montpellier act allows for licensed physicians to lecture in Montpellier without limit, thus attracting teachers and students from outside of the city.[8] France
1220 – 1255 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the University of Oxford.[8] United Kingdom
1245 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the University of Siena.[8] Italy
1290 Medical school The University of Coimbra is founded by Denis of Portugal in Lisbon, with four original faculties, including Medicine.[8][11] Portugal
1321 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the University of Perugia.[8][12][13] Italy
1399 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the University of Florence.[8] Italy
1343 Medical school The University of Pisa is established by Papal Bull from Pope Clement VI. A medical school is established among its original faculties.[8] Italy
1348 Medical school Charles University is established in Prague by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. A faculty of medicine is amongst its four original faculties.[8] Czech Republic
1364 Medical school Jagiellonian University, the oldest in Poland, is founded by Casimir III the Great, in Kazimierz (now a district of Krakow). A medical school is established among its original faculties.[8] Poland
1365 Medical school The University of Vienna is founded by Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria. A medical school is established among its original faculties.[8] Austria
1386 Medical school Heidelberg University, the oldest in Germany, is founded. A faculty of medicine is established as one of the original four faculties.[8] Germany
1399 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the University of Padua.[8] Italy
1409 Medical school Leipzig University is established, with medicine amongst its four original faculties.[8] Germany
1413 Medical school The University of St Andrews School of Medicine is established in St Andrews, Scotland.[8] United Kingdom
1419 Medical school The University of Rostock is founded, including medicine amongst the original faculties.[8] Germany
1421 Policy The British Parliament petitions Henry V of England to pass a law determining that a medicine degree from a university be the only qualification granting the right to practice.[14] United Kingdom
1431 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the Sapienza University of Rome.[8][15] Italy
1434 Medical school Medicine is established amongst the original four faculties at the University of Catania.[8][16] Italy
1436 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the University of Turin.[8][17] Italy
1456 Medical school A medical faculty established as one of the original faculties at the University of Greifswald.[8][18] Germany
1457 Medical school University of Freiburg is founded by Albert VII, Archduke of Austria. A medical faculty is established as one of the four original faculties.[8] Germany
1460 Medical school The University of Basel is established, with Medicine as one of the four original faculties.[8] Switzerland
1477 Medical school Uppsala University is founded by Papal Bull from Pope Sixtus IV. A medical faculty is established as one of the four original faculties.[8] Sweden
1477 Medical school The University of Tübingen is founded by Eberhard I, Duke of Württemberg. Medicine is established as one of the original faculties.[8] Germany
1479 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the University of Copenhagen.[8] Denmark
1481 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the University of Genoa.[8][19] Italy
c.1509 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the Complutense University of Madrid.[8] Spain
1518 Medical school The Royal College of Physicians of London is established.[2][20][21] United Kingdom
<1520 Medical school A medical faculty is established at the University of Pavia.[8] Italy
1542 Medical school A Medical faculty is established at the University of Zaragoza.[8][22] Spain
1669 Publication Muhammad Mumin publishes his Tufat al-Muminin, one of the most reliable books on medicine in medieval Islam.[7]
1765 Medical school The School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, is founded. It is the oldest medical school in the United States.[8][23] United States
1785 Medical school The London Hospital Medical College is founded.[8] United Kingdom
1815 Policy A decree in the Netherlands establishes the structure of the academic medical curriculum and lists the disciplines to be included. However, nothing is stipulated about their content, which is determined by individual professors, being both teacher and examiner.[3] Netherlands
1822 Medical school The Native Medical Institution is established in Calcutta to provide medical training to Indians.[5] India
1827 Medical school Kasr Al-Ainy is established as a military teaching hospital near Cairo, giving rise to the modern history of Egyptian medical education.[24] Egypt
1842 Medical school A western formal medical school, Escola Medico-Cirurgica de Nova Goa, is established in Goa, in Portuguese India. Enrolment is limited to christians.[25][26][27] India
1847 Organization The American Medical Association (AMA) is founded with primary tasks to raise ethical standards in the medical field.[28] United States
1858 Policy The Medical Act of 1858 is passed in Britain, often termed the most important event in British medicine. It establishes the General Medical Council, controlling admission to the medical register, thus having great powers over medical education and examinations.[2]
1875 Medical school Madras Medical College becomes the first in India to open its doors to female students.[5] India
1876 Medical school The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is founded with the purpose to reform medical education.[28] United States
1887 Medical school The Hong Kong College of Medicine is founded by private practitioners in western medicine to train Chinese doctors to serve the local community.[29] Hong Kong
1889 Medical school Johns Hopkins Hospital opens and offers the first “residency” program in the United States.[28] United States
1910 Publication American educator Abraham Flexner publishes report entitled report entitled Medical Education in the United states and Canada (Flexner Report), under the aegis of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The report would have an immediate impact on the improvement of the adequacy of medical schools in the United States.[2][30]
1915 Organization The Chinese Medical Association is established with aims at uniting medical professionals.[31][32][33] China
1916 Policy The "Indian Medical Degrees Act" is introduced in India in order to regulate medical practice in the country.[34] India
1933 Organization The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is established as the preeminent entity to oversee the certification of physician specialists in the United States.[28] United States
1933 Organization The Medical Council of India is founded with aims at establishing uniform and high standards of medical education in India.[35] India
1937 Publication The American College of Surgeons publishes Fundamental Requirements for Graduate Training in Surgery, setting its own standards for surgical education programs.[28] United States
1951 Organization The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) is founded. It represents a network of 1.3 million medical students in 127 countries.[36]
1953 The World Health Organization publishes the first edition of the World Directory of Medical Schools. Successive editions would be published until the seventh and final print edition in 2000.[37]
1962 Organization The Panamerican Federation of Association of Medical Schools (PAFAMS) is founded in Chile by a group of leading medical educators. It constitutes 343 medical schools from Latin America, United States and Canada, and adresses the prevailing problems in medical education in Latin America.[38] Chile
1972 Organization The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is established in Copenhagen. WFME’s main objective is to "enhance the quality of medical education worldwide, with promotion of the highest scientific and ethical standards in medical education". The organization develops standards for medical education and promotes accreditation of medical schools. It also co-manages the World Directory of Medical Schools.[39][40] Denmark
1981 Organization The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is established.[3] United States
1988 Treaty The Edinburgh declaration is approved at the World Conference on Medical Education, calling for greater co-operation between the health system and the education system, reflecting national needs in medical education and continuing lifelong education of medical staff to achieve quality in practice.[41] United Kingdomm}
1995 Organization The Global Alliance for Medical Education (GAME) is established.[42]
2000 Organization The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) is incorporated as a nonprofit foundation, with the purpose to "support the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) as it promotes international health professions education through programmatic and research activities."[43][44][45]
2004 The Guidelines for Accreditation of Basic Medical Education is developed by an international task force. In 2005, it would be published jointly by World Health Organization and the World Federation for Medical Education.[46][47]
2005 Organization The International Association of Medical Colleges is founded with the purpose of peer evaluating of the medical education and maintaining uniform standards and recognition of physicians qualifications provided by individual medical schools anywhere in the world.[48]
2007 Study Studies conducted among the Generation Y of medical students in countries including the United Kingdom, Denmark, Austria, Tanzania, Colombia and Malaysia show that information technology (IT) has potential as an educational tool in enhancing teaching and learning in medical schools.[38]
2008 The Avicenna Directory opens as a public database of worldwide medical schools, schools of pharmacy, schools of public health and educational institutions of other academic health professions.[37][49]
2012 Massive open online courses emerge as a popular mode of learning, with many courses on medicine and healthcare.[50][51]
2013 The Avicenna Directory merges with the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) to create the World Directory of Medical Schools.[52]
2018 Study A published review shows that online teaching modalities are becoming increasingly prevalent in medical education, with associated high student satisfaction and improvement on knowledge tests.[53]

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References

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