World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), located in Denmark, has accredited the College of Medicine - King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS) - Riyadh on its site visit to the college in April 2009. The WFME final report can be viewed from here.

A three member team made the visit, Professors Jorgen Nystrup, Leif Christensen and James Ware, over five days, April 4 – 8, 2009. A full and useful program had been arranged and all major officers of the College were met, see attached program with College representatives and the activities summarized. An open and collegial atmosphere was maintained over the entire visit and the Site Team were very satisfied with the access given to all essential elements of the College’s mission.
The College of Medicine broke ground by royal decree in January 2004. The Dean and his senior management team were in place by March 2004, and considered a number of alternative curricula to provide the initial program using three essential criteria, and one logical additional, to make the final choice:

• Problem-based learning (PBL) strategy
• Graduate Medical Program, and
• Electronically enhanced curriculum delivery
• Hybrid balance

A number of schools where investigated including Manchester - UK, Dalhousie – Canada and the University of Sydney – Australia, and the final decision was to implement the Graduate Medical Program bought and delivered from the University of Sydney (USyd) in June 2004. This is a four year hybrid program built around four themes, strongly contextualized through horizontal and vertical integration with a major educational input delivered with authentic PBL cases. The College then made the following modifications to the original program, summarized in the following way:

• One semester Foundation studies – Phase I
• Two year organ-system based studies – Phase II
• Three semester mainly clinical studies – Phase III

The first batch of graduate students were admitted in September 2004 and has already graduated in August 2008, while, in September 2007, the first batch of school matriculates were admitted to the college in a two year, four semester, Phase I preparatory program. Although the college remains only for male students, there are plans to admit females some time after the new campus for the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS) is completed in June 2011. It was noted that the College has already distinguished itself by coming top of 24 schools in the Kingdom who entered 1700 graduates in the National Certifying Examination held in 2007:

• Mean Test Scores, all candidates (n=1700) 57.2%
• KSAU-HS College of Medicine (n=24) 62.9%
• Nearest other school 59.2%

The school has embraced the early introduction of clinical skills as the main pillar of the Patient-Doctor theme supported by the clinical elements in Phase III, self-directed learning as an important adult learning strategy, a significant reduction in content overload and creative innovations with advanced technology to enhance and facilitate the delivery of the curriculum. This is modern medical education at its best supported by dedicated, loyal and well informed Faculty. Combined with the leading position the National Guard Hospital holds in respect of postgraduate training in the Kingdom, the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University of Health Sciences Medical College will surely assume a leadership role for a country wide reform of undergraduate medical school curricula.

The Report from the Self Evaluation was received by the WFME Office well in advance. It was the starting point for the Site visit to verify the statements and determine any reasonable suggestions to enhance already ongoing activities to reach the ultimate goals set in the mission. It should be noted that the report was very helpful and gave the team an extremely good impression of the College and its medical program. The report itself was fairly brief end precise, but a large amount of detailed written documentation was enclosed.