Stakeholders discussed academic integrity in health care

On December 23, a dialogue session “Risks of dishonesty in the conduct of medical examinations KROK and USQE” took place. The event was a joint initiative of the National Agency on Corruption Corruption and the Aspen Institute Kyiv within the Integrity and Governance project.

The participants of the dialogue discussed one of the topical issues directly related to the integrity of the educational process. After all, high-quality training of specialists is a crucial component of the future development of Ukrainian society. It is not only about overcoming direct corruption in this area, but also about distorting the motivation of virtuous young people, distorting medical ethics, which has a thousand-year tradition, – said Olena Fomina, director of the Justice, Law, and Society Program.

As a leadership dialogue platform Aspen Institute Kyiv involved stakeholders in the discussion. Among the participants: were representatives of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, relevant universities and institutions, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, anti-corruption bodies, media, and private clinics. It allowed us to get a wide range of views on the issue: a better understanding of its roots and solutions that will help correct the situation.

Here are some theses from the discussion:

  • The independent filter that future doctors go through before graduation is crucial for patients. Such a filter may be the IFOM exam – an international exam on the medicine basics, which tests the medical students according to international standards and provides a certificate NBME (US National Board of Medical Examiners) or a similar USMLE exam. The primary motivation here is the safety and preservation of their lives.
  • The procedure for conducting a medical exam is not a thing in itself. The problem of academic dishonesty tolerance is also in this context. Some participants in the dialogue believed that it begins from school time. At the same time, there was an opinion that it is possible to instill in citizens the desire to put the public interest above the private one.
  • Why did the EIT system work successfully, and the process with medical exams are more difficult? Several ministers of education that represented opposite political sides supported the implementation of the EIT, and this protractedness was justified. In addition, society felt the need for EIT. Сurrently there are no such activities in our society about the medical exams.

The participants of the discussion suggested several possible solutions:

  • Development of effective procedures for the transparency of medical examinations monitoring.
  • Introduction of external independent evaluation, which will reduce the risk of entering the profession of unqualified doctors.
  • Correlation of educational standards with the European countries, Canada, USA, and others.
  • Systematic communication in a society about intolerance to corruption, and in particular academic dishonesty.

The event was held within the framework of the Integrity and Governance project. The Integrity and Governance project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy.