Medical Education Development
Enhancing Medical Professionalism
--- Curriculum Reforms at National Taiwan University College of Medicine
The goals of NTUCM are:
- To equip physicians with modern medical knowledge and a conceptual basis from which to improve
- To develop medical specialists and scientists with the skills necessary to teach and conduct worldclass
research in medicine and health sciences.
- To promote research in biomedicine and health sciences in order to solve local health problems and
contribute to advancements in biomedical knowledge.
To achieve these goals, NTUCM has established the following educational objectives:
- To nurture medical professionals able to meet the changing societal needs of the 21st century.
- To train a new generation of healthcare providers, leaders, researchers and educators able to develop
innovations in medical care, academic research and medical education.
NTUCM has been engaged in medical education curricular reforms since 1992. The current program
emphasizes general as well as specialist education, and scientific as well as humanistic professional
competencies. Under this improved curriculum, students develop professionalism, vision and critical thinking, in
line with the NTUCM tradition of the pursuit of excellence. The new curriculum features small group tutorials,
which helps students to develop habits of active learning and familiarity with scientific methods. NTUCM
students go on to become medical experts who are able to solve problems, generate new knowledge and
conduct independent and groundbreaking investigations.
The shared mission of NTUCM's Graduate Institutes is to cultivate medical research experts and raise academic
standards in medical education. With an enriching environment, an excellent support system and first-class
instruction, students are well-prepared to conduct innovative research and engage in life-long learning
throughout their careers.
In order to achieve the educational goals outlined above, extensive administrative changes have taken place at
NTUCM over the past two decades. In 1992, the Office of Academic Affairs was restructured to include
curriculum, evaluation and education. The Office for Medical Education was established at National Taiwan
University Hospital (NTUH) that same year, followed by the establishment of college-level Curriculum
Committees and Education Development Committees in 1993. The Education division of the Office of Academic
Affairs became the Office of Medical Education in 1995, and was divided into teaching, planning, integration,
development and evaluation in 1996. Eleven years later, in 2007, the Office was restructured to include tutorial
instruction, curriculum integration, research and development, teaching evaluation and general education. The
NTUCM Office of Medical Education is currently supervised by the Curriculum Committee, while the NTUH
Office of Medical Education is supervised by the Clinical Medical Education Committee. Additionally, a Faculty
Development Committee was founded to promote the long-term development of medical education.
Due to changes in Taiwanese society and advancements in medical technology, the traditional medical
education system was no longer able to meet Taiwan's needs at the turn of the 21st century. Curriculum reform
at NTUCM was therefore initiated, leading to the integration of basic and clinical sciences, the foundation of a
core curriculum including medical humanities courses and the implementation of student-centered active
learning and problem-based small group tutorials. Beginning in 2008, NTUCM reformed both the formal and the
“hidden” curricula in an effort to strengthen medical professionalism. Identified stakeholders were invited to
discuss and reach a consensus on the essential competencies of College of Medicine graduates; and the
curriculum was then revised according to this multi-stakeholder consensus. For example, standardized patients
were introduced into the longitudinal curriculum in order to foster students' communication competency. NTUCM
also instituted an award for altruism, in order to counterbalance the usual emphasis on medical students'
academic performance. In August 2014, NTUCM established a Graduate Institute of Medical Education and
Bioethics, reinforcing the College of Medicine's capacity and reputation as a national and global leader in