The University of the Philippines College of Medicine is vying for certification to the Asean University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA). What is AUN-QA? It is a certifying body composed of educators from different fields and different countries. Quality assurance in higher education is said to be multi-dimensional in concept and scope.
The World Declaration on Higher Education for the Twenty First Century: Vision and Action (October 1998), Article 1: Quality Evaluation considers quality in higher education as “a multi-dimensional concept, which should embrace all its functions, and activities: teaching and academic programmes, research and scholarship, staffing, students, buildings, facilities, equipment, services to the community and the academic environment. Internal self-evaluation and external review, conducted openly by independent specialists, if possible with international expertise, are vital for enhancing quality.”
The Regional Report of Asia and the Pacific (UNESCO, 2003B) defines quality assurance in higher education as “systematic management and assessment procedures to monitor performance of higher education institutions.”
The University of the Philippines College of Medicine under former Dean Agnes Mejia, now under the leadership of Dean Charlotte Chiong is aspiring to be AUN-QA certified. This certification would signify that the UPCM has a high quality of education in all its functions and activities. This would mean that our teaching and academic programmes, research and scholarship, support staff, students, buildings and facilities, equipment and services to the community and academic environment is at par with our ASEAN neighbors. The aim of the UPCM for AUN-QA certification is a step towards quality enhancement of our medical degree programme. The scheduled visit of the AUN-QA assessors is on Aug. 28-30, 2018. The Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Development shall oversee the preparations for the accreditation with Dr. Stella Marie L. Jose as the overall coordinator.
The UP College of Medicine was given a Level IV Re-accredited status by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) last April 24, 2015 and a Center of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) last June 19, 2009.The PAASCU is governed by a 15-person Board of Directors elected at large by members during the annual General Assembly. It has seven Commissions with five to seven members each to perform its mandate. These are the Commissions on Graduate Education, Medical Education, Engineering Education, Tertiary Education, Integrated Basic Education, Secondary Education and Elementary Education. The Commission members are recommended during the General Assembly and appointed by the Board. (from the PAASCU website)
The Commissions plan and initiate projects for each level, revise survey instruments, and train accreditors and team chairs. Moreover, they review the reports of the survey teams before these are submitted to the Board. PAASCU’s day to day operations are handled by a Secretariat which is headed by the Executive Director. The Secretariat takes care of the logistics of the survey visits, invites accreditors, prepares reports and forms, and implements the projects of the Commissions. (from the PAASCU website)
Over a thousand volunteer accreditors from all over the country visit the institutions in accreditation team of six (6) to twelve (12) members depending on the number of programs being accredited.(from the PAASCU website).
The PAASCU has this vision: PAASCU is the leading, independent, professional association in the Philippines and beyond that forsters quality education through voluntary accreditation. It is a leading advocate for quality assurance in ASEAN.
Its mission: PAASCU is a private, non-profit and non-stock corporation that serves its member institutions and advocates quality education through voluntary accreditation. It is committed to: 1. Promote member institutions’ implementation of their mission and vision, and goals, achievement of minimum standards of excellence and evidence excellence based on learning outcomes, and responsiveness to stakeholders; 2. Use a developmental approach to support, empower, and sustain the continuous improvement and innovation initiatives of its member institutions through self-assessment and site visits of member schools, training, research, consultancy services and collaborative undertakings with local and international partners; 3. Serve the national and global communities through its pursuit of a culture of excellence in education.
Details of the Accreditation
The goals and objectives:
- Statement of Mission and Objectives of the Medical School
The statement of the mission and objectives of the College are clearly stated and made known to its constituency. The mission and objectives of the College are in harmony with the goals of the institution (UP Manila and the UP System) and reflect the national development goals (vision-mission of the Department of Health and the Philippine Millennium Development Goals). The objectives reflect desirable cultural values and the curriculum is educationally sound and attainable. The UP College of Medicine continues to be the top medical school in the country.
- Specific Objectives Distinctive of Each Medical School
The Philippine Medical School ( now the UP College of Medicine) was established by virtue of Act No. 1415 in December 1, 1905. The act aimed to provide doctors for the Filipinos. The present vision and mission of the college is still in line with this original goal.
- Acceptance by the Faculty
The faculty understands and subscribes to the goals and objectives of the medical school. The faculty excel in their own field of expertise and subscribe to and implement the practice of community oriented medical education, as shown in their active participation in community outreach programs/extension services and involvement in the UP Manila Pahinungod Programs.
- Orientation of students
The students are oriented to the goals and objectives of the medical school. Even before admission, brochures for applicants to the college contain the mission and vision. The UPCM has regular orientation ceremonies for new students, in addition to the one conducted by UP Manila. Before the start of each school year, we have two (2) sessions of the regular orientation seminar- one for both parents and students and another for students only.
The recommendation of the PAASCU Re-survey visit in 2006 was fully implemented. To address the problem of brain drain, the UPCM initiated two entry programs for Learning unit III. These are the Regionalization and the Return Service Agreement.
Area 1 Faculty
- Academic Qualifications
The faculty are fully qualified and trained to teach medical students and graduate students of our post graduate programs.
The faculty is involved in the planning, preparation and implementation of courses. With the implementation of the Organ System Integrated (OSI) Curriculum, faculty made use of innovative, small group, participative teaching activities in addition to the usual large group lectures.
- Selection of Faculty
The desired number of faculty (Faculty Base Level) is set periodically (every 3 years) in a meeting of the College Academic Personnel Committee (APC) with the Department/Unit chair presenting and justifying it. Filling-up the vacant positions start at the level of the Department where the applicant is initially interviewed and subsequently endorsed by the Department APC to the College APC for consideration and approval.
- Teaching Assignments
Although there are only 120 full-time faculty members, there are sufficient number of part-time faculty (159), clinical part-time faculty (403) and non-regular faculty (47), to insure effective instruction, research and guidance of students, residents and fellows. The challenge is to distribute teaching load and other responsibilities equitably to the faculty of the department. Examples of departments who have successfully done this are the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Pediatrics.
- Rank and Tenure
UPCM has clear criteria for ranking, promotion and tenure as described in the Faculty Manual. The Academic Personnel Committee (APC) evaluate the qualification of a faculty nominee in terms of educational background and the number of years of service to the college as a clinical faculty, and using a guide, recommends the faculty rank. There is also a policy of automatic promotion upon completion of a masters or PhD. When the university announces a call for promotion, clear guidelines or criteria are formulated. Definite procedures for tenure, and termination should be clearly indicated and observed.
- Faculty Development
UPCM has faculty members who have shown scholarship, produced research outputs and who not only participate in professional and learned organizations but lead them as well. UPCM has the Integrated Faculty Development Program, consisting of 7 short courses to enhance teaching, research and leadership skill and competence. Faculty who wants to enroll in a graduate course in the university can do so with free tuition.
- Salaries and Fringe Benefits
The commitment of the UPCM Faculty is commendable, despite the low monetary compensation. The tenured faculty receives a monthly salary depending on his rank. The non-tenured faculty receives honoraria depending on the teaching load that the faculty has for that academic year.
Being in a government institution, the faculties are members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) which provides for retirement plans, leaves of absence, sickness benefits, separation pay, salary loans. They are also members of PAG-IBIG and Philhealth. The University also has the Provident Fund, membership of which is voluntary.
Curriculum and Instruction (AREA 2)
The curriculum and instruction are consistent with the goals of the college, the university and medical education in the country.
- Program of Studies and Curriculum
The medical degree program which is an Organ System Integrated Integration (OSI) program offers various learning opportunities which reflect the competencies needed by the medical graduate. It is well-defined and community-oriented, providing depth and breadth in bio-medical, social and clinical sciences.
The curriculum is relevant, dynamic and innovative. Feedback from faculty and students are used to improve further the different courses.
- Instructional Design and Materials
The instructional design accomplishes both vertical and horizontal integration and has included the basic knowledge necessary for the understanding of human biology and disease. Clinical exposure is given early (starting Learning Unit 3) and basic sciences are integrated in the conduct of the clinical courses. It utilizes various methods and approaches. It is community- oriented and has utilized instructional techniques that encourage active faculty and student communication and interaction. It has more small-group activities and has provisions for independent study.
- Community Involvement of the School
The Curriculum has included COME (Community Oriented Medical Education) in all year levels. Students are exposed to medical care in both urban and rural settings. In addition to what is included in the curriculum, students are encouraged to conduct community medical and development projects through the various medical students’ organizations and the Pahinungod of UP Manila.
- Evaluation, Grading and Graduation Requirements
The syllabus of each course clearly defines how the students are evaluated. The college uses various evaluation tools (e.g. written, oral and practical examinations, reports, research papers, filed work). Students are given feedback of their performance throughout the course. Students who have academic difficulties are offered assistance through their mentors.
The College Catalogue defines the grading system, promotion and graduation.
Clinical Training/Service Facilities (AREA 3)
- Community-Based Health Facility
UPCM has provided community-oriented activities in all year levels and well-planned and well supervised community – based health programs in Pasay City and San Juan, Batangas. The urban community rotation has been moved to Manila effective AY 2012-2013 while the community-based program for LU7 students (medical interns) has been transferred to Cavite in AY 2013-2014. It is in these settings that the concepts of primary health care are maximally utilized.
- Ambulatory Care Facility
The ambulatory care facilities of the hospital (Department of Outpatient Services and UP Medical Center Faculty Medical Arts Building) offer a full range of services from primary to tertiary care.
- In-Patient Care Facility
The Philippine General Hospital has 830 beds for charity patients, 410 for pay patients and 60 nursery beds. If offered various services for 45,902 in-patients in 2012. There is a great variety of disease conditions to which the students can be exposed. There is also a complement of board certified consultants in all specialties and most sub-specialties in medicine. Consultants are assisted by the residents and fellows of the different departments. The equipment in the department has been upgraded and is complemented by the equipment available at the UPM-PGH Faculty Medical Arts Building.
Research (AREA 4)
The present self-survey demonstrates complete compliance with the recommendations of the previous PAASCU reviewers, and that research output continues to increase consistent with the institution’s goals to promote an active research culture.
- Human Resources
The UPCM has invested heavily in human resources in administration and conduct of research. Clearly, the cultivation of human resources for research is a priority goal of the UPCM. Faculty selection emphasizes previous research output and potential as clear indicators for accreditors. Each department has a clearly defined research coordinator who oversees departmental research output, and relates with the UPCM Research Implementation and Development Office (RIDO). Research associates and technical personnel items are present and available to the departments. Statisticians are scarce, and commonly consulted statisticians were generally from the College of Public Health.
A clear research agenda is present and is emphasized. Present direction of research is geared toward patient safety, with the College commissioning research in identified aspects.
Research theory and applications are taken up in scheduled didactic and laboratory sessions early in the medical curriculum. Research output is an essential component of promotion to the next year level for students, and promotion to the next professorial level in the case of faculty.
Research quality is monitored from the time the protocol is submitted for technical and ethical review, and all throughout the conduct and management of research by the RIDO monitoring system).
- Support from the Administration
The effort of the UPCM in streamlining the administrative processes in doing research is of considerable note. The Research Implementation and Development Office (RIDO) has consistently released information on research concerns including calls for funding, process flows of research registration, schedules of technical and ethical reviews as well as fora for research presentations, in print and in their website.
- Dissemination and Utilization
The UPCM has an annual research forum for the presentation of faculty and student researches. At present, participation in the research fora is voluntary; i.e. a call for presentation is issued forth the RIDO every year.
- Ethical standards
Until September 2011, RIDO had an Ethics Review Board, which had been accredited by the Forum for Ethical Review Committees in the Asian and Western Pacific Region (FERCAP)in 2009.
Name of the final award: Level IV Re-Accredited Status
Programme title: Medical Degree Program
Expected Learning Outcomes
LO 1 Clinical Competence
LO 2 Effective Communication Skills
LO3 Leadership and Management
LO 4 Generalization and Utilization of Relevant Knowledge
LO 5 Inter-Professional Practice
LO 6 Systems-based Approach to Health Care Practice
LO 7 Lifelong Personal and Professional Development
LO 8 Adherence to Professional and Ethical Standards
LO 9 Volunteerism, Nationalism, and Internationalism
LO 10 Advocacy for Social Equity and Social Accountability
LO 11 Effective Teaching and Organizational Skills
-website link to the UP College of Medicine Admissions Brochure
Programme Structure and Content
-website link to the UP College of Medicine Catalogue
Date on which the programme specification was written: 2014