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Accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education–International (ACGME-I) has been an exciting time for academic medical centers in Abu Dhabi. Since accreditation, the entire educational framework and educational outcomes have significantly improved. Residents have greatly benefited from better program organization and structure. A new era of contemporary terminologies has begun, for example, competencies, feedback, outcomes, milestones, and entrustable professional activities. Residents and faculty are completing evaluation forms, and the nursing staff and patients have begun to evaluate residents.
It is also important to keep in mind that there are a few residents who show dissatisfaction with the new changes implemented by the ACGME-I. One resident thanked me for improving the organization and structure of our program, but clearly expressed dissatisfaction for competency-based medical education. This view is not shared by many residents. In 1 study from Saudi Arabia, 50% of the residents in a Saudi board-accredited program were not satisfied with their training and felt that they were not adequately trained, especially in the procedural competency.1
Prior to ACGME-I accreditation, the Arab board programs in the United Arab Emirates have lacked clearly stated outcome requirements, as well as ongoing oversight within the sponsoring institution; as a result, the Arab board pass rates were low.2,3 Notably, now there is evidence that competency-based medical education did improve resident performance and patient outcomes in the United Arab Emirates.3
The ACGME-I effect is growing in strength. In our program, the Arab Board pass rate has risen to more than 90%. Resident publications and poster presentations at national and international conferences are on the rise, and quality improvement projects are increasingly becoming part of resident training. The journey has just begun.