Indexed on: 13 Sep '12Published on: 13 Sep '12Published in: Medical teacher
The 1999 Bologna Agreement implies a European harmonization of higher education using three cycles: bachelor and master before doctorate. Undergraduate medical programmes were restructured in only seven of the 47 countries.Given the debate about a two-cycle system in undergraduate medical education, providing an overview of experiences in medical schools that applied this structure was the purpose of this investigation.In 2009, an AMEE-MEDINE2 survey was carried out among all the 32 medical schools that applied the two-cycle system in medicine. At the end of 2011, a member-check validation using a draft manuscript was carried out to complete an accurate up-to-date impression.All the 32 schools responded initially; 26 schools responded to the second round. All schools had implemented the two-cycle system (all but one in a 3 + 3 year model) with hardly any problems. All reported smaller or larger curriculum improvements, often triggered, but not caused, by the two-cycle system. No school reported that introducing the system interfered with any desired curriculum development, particularly horizontal or vertical integration.In 32 of the 442 medical schools in Bologna signatory countries, introducing a two-cycle model for basic medical education was successfully completed. However, harmonization of medical training in Europe requires further international collaboration.