General principles of the programmes
While individual programmes are different with respect to content and the way in which this content is taught, certain general principles apply to all AKU PGME programmes.
Each programme has a structured syllabus which guides residents in the acquisition of knowledge and skills in their specialty and gives them gradually increasing responsibility and independence under consultant supervision.
The syllabus and instruction is expected to instill the principles of critical thinking, evidence-based medicine, independent thought and clinical decision-making in addition to essential factual knowledge and fundamental skills.
In addition, the resident is expected to develop a professional attitude, managerial skills (such as administration and time management), teaching skills and the capability to understand and undertake research. This is accomplished through built-in processes in each programme and mentoring and role-modeling by faculty.
Assessment and evaluation
All postgraduate trainees are regularly evaluated by faculty using validated tools and given regular feedback about their performance. The process is carried out in an open and transparent manner, and the trainee is a full participant in the process.
Decisions about promotion/graduation of trainees are taken based on this regular evaluation.
The faculty is also evaluated by the trainees regularly using similar tools, and this evaluation forms part of the faculty appraisal process.
Every programme has to be regularly and formally reviewed by itself. This is done by the Programme Director and Coordinator using the structure and methods prescribed by the PGME Executive Committee. In this manner, the strengths and deficiencies are brought out and corrected.
A periodic review of every PGME programme is also carried out by the faculty of other programmes in a methodical and formal manner. All residents, faculty and relevant professionals are interviewed and given the opportunity to present their point of view to the PGME review committee. The purpose is to identify any deficiencies or problems and propose solutions as well as to learn from the positive aspects of the programmes so that those lessons can be applied elsewhere.
In order to conform to international standards, AKU has initiated an external review of its academic programmes. The first such review of PGME programmes was conducted in 2008 wherein all the programmes under the purview of PGME were validated by an international team.