New Medical Education Initiative


 The initiative works on planning medical doctor training, supporting the medical schools in the country focusing on the new medical schools and also involved in developing standards for the medical doctors training.

 Introduction: Total output of medical doctor has remained low (HSDP IV/FMOH, 2010).  In response, Ethiopia has intensified the pre-service education through increased number and expansion of medical schools from 14 to 27, building capacity and increase number of enrollees in the existing schools. 

  Along the traditional training systems, Ethiopia has introduced a new track of training medical doctors through pooling of candidates from the science background and who have had first degree. The aim of the new track is to ensure the optimal use of the right kind of trained personnel that could respond to the country's long-standing requirement in general and in education and training of health personnel in particular.

  The new track of training medical doctors is, as is named, an innovative track – and involves reorientation of its curriculum towards community focused training approach and aimed at responding to the current human resources gap and current and future demand by the country. This is initiated in 10 newly established universities and three teaching hospitals. This approach is different from the conventional training programs by moving from the hospital based, exclusively patient-oriented pattern to radically different learning methods - 'curriculum– in community oriented learning and in problem based education. The conceptual difference in the new medical curriculum are that it has incorporated new educational strategies, has competency, learning objective, methodologies and assessment; has integrated   Biomedical ,Professional competency development ,social and population health sciences  and is modular in delivery. Content has given emphasis to essential clinical and professional skills, emergency live saving surgical and obstetrics skills and has introduced Ethiopian health problems, mainly infectious diseases& rural health.

The main intent of this new approach to medical education has been twofold: first, to ensure relevance to the task of medical education to be performed in primary health care systems. This as well is expected to promote equitable distribution of its graduates by geography and specialty. Secondly, the need to to reform traditional curricula in line with the explosion of scientific information from schools in many parts of the world that have implemented innovative curricula track.

The new medical education curriculum is a Competency Base with the following principles and strategies (FMOH/MOE, 2011).

  • Early community and clinical contact
  • Community orientation in medical education (COME)
  • Integration of the different sciences and unity between education & practice
  • Self-directed learning
  • Problem-based learning (PBL)
  • ICT supported 
  • Continuing professional development (CPD)

Furthermore, the new medical education for medical doctors identifies seven domain of core competencies expected from graduates:

  1. Professional values, attitudes, behaviors and ethics
  2. Scientific foundation of medicine
  3. Communication skills
  4. Clinical skills
  5. Population health and health systems
  6. Management of information
  7. Critical thinking and research, practice-based improvement

 The goal of the new medical education initiative therefore is to educate medical doctors quantitatively sufficient and professionally competent to provide quality health care services to meet the demand of the nation.

Goal: To increase average Annual enrollment of medical students from 3000 to 4000

Accomplishments so far

 Enrollment of medical students in the 13 medical schools as first, second and third batch has increased average annual enrollment of medical students from 3000 to 3812, 81.2% of the goal has been achieved.

Capacity building of the 13 medical schools

  • 46,540 reference books have been procured and distributed to the thirteen medical schools to solve the existed gap in quantity and quality of books in libraries.
  •  1170 desktops and other electronics like printers, scanners, UPS and server have been procured and distributed to support medical education with ICT. Additionally, videoconference sets are availed to all the thirteen schools to enhance telemedicine.
  • Videoconferencing was made functional for telemedicine.
  • Laboratory equipments including almost all necessary sets, have been procured and are on shipment process to be distributed to the schools by the end of October, 2014
  • 26 medium buses are on procurement process to overcome the transportation service problem that the schools have been facing during clinical and community attachments.
  • 405 teaching staffs have been trained on problem based learning(PBL)
  • 18 expatriates from different countries have been recruited and deployed. Additionally12 volunteer, PHD candidates from university of Michigan have been deployed in three schools to narrow the existing gaps in teaching staffs.
  • 13 local, basic science instructors working in the older medical schools and are on sabbatical leave, were recruited and deployed based on the gaps in the schools.
  • Networking/Partnership among public medical schools in the country has been established, the 27 schools were networked into eight clusters targeting sharing of human and material resources among them.
  • The ministry in collaboration with ministry of education and development partners conducted supportive supervision three times on which gaps in the schools have been identified and most of the above mentioned actions were planned.


  • Shortage of infrastructure in the medical schools
  • Shortage of teaching aids mainly Laboratory equipments
  • Absence of teaching hospitals Under the universities
  • Shortage of both biomedical and Clinical instructors