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U.S. Department of Education

 

Hungary

 
Prepared March 2015
 
Background
 
In March 1997, the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) initially determined that the accreditation standards used by the Hungarian Accreditation Committee (HAC), the accrediting body that evaluates medical schools in Hungary, were comparable to those used to evaluate programs leading to the M.D. degree in the United States. The NCFMEA has continued to reaffirm Hungary’s comparability since that time. The country's most recent redetermination of comparability took place at the Fall 2011 NCFMEA meeting. The country provided an interim report at the Fall 2013 NCFMEA meeting, which was accepted. At that time, the country was requested to provide an additional interim report at the Spring 2015 meeting. That report is the subject of this analysis.
 
Summary of Findings
 
There are no findings, and no additional information is requested.
 
Staff Analysis
 
The country provided a report containing updates on its activities, and there were no issues with the information provided in the report.
 
Current status of medical schools
 
Country Narrative
1. Medical School of University of Debrecen, date of accreditation: 12.12.2014 (valid until 12.31.2019), fully accredited with monitoring in 2016
2. Medical School of University of Pécs, date of accreditation: 12.12.2014 (valid until 12.31.2019), fully accredited with monitoring in 2016
3. Medical School of Semmelweis University, date of accreditation: 12.12.2014 (valid until 12.31.2019), fully accredited with monitoring in 2016
4. Medical School of University of Szeged, date of accreditation: 12.12.2014 (valid until 12.31.2019), fully accredited with monitoring in 2016
The HAC Resolution no. 2014/10/XII/1 on the Accreditation of MSc in Medicine Programs at Hungarian Medical Schools is attached as Exhibit 1.
 
Analyst Remarks to Narrative
The country provided information and documentation indicating that all four of its medical schools were re-accredited in December 2014 and will remain accredited through December 2019, with interim monitoring scheduled to take place in 2016. As documentation, the country provided a copy of the resolution continuing the schools' accreditation (Ex. 1).

Staff accepts the agency's narrative and documentation, and no additional information is requested.
 
Analyst Remarks to Response
Staff accepted the country's initial response, and no additional information was requested.
 
Staff Conclusion: Comprehensive response provided
 
Overview of accreditation activities
 
Country Narrative
In the frame of accreditation scheduled for 2013/14 and involving all higher education programs in the disciplines of medicine (and health care and sports) education, all four Hungarian medical school went through the accreditation process with site visits as follows:

1. Medical School of University of Debrecen (DE): date of site visit: 02.26-27., 2014
2. Medical School of University of Pécs (PTE): date of site visit: 05.08-09., 2014
3. Medical School of Semmelweis University (SE): date of site visits: 02.24-26.,2014 (Budapest), 10.23.,2014 (Hamburg)
4. Medical School of University of Szeged (SZTE): date of site visit: 03.11-12.,2014

At site visits the following institutes, clinics or other units of each school were evaluated: theoretical medical institutes (e.g. Anatomy, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics, Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology, Pathology, Pharmacology), and clinics (e.g. Internal Medicine, Neurology, Nuclear Medicine, Oncology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Surgery, Traumatology etc.), and Public Health Institutes. Moreover, a site visit was conducted at Hamburg Campus (Asklepios Clinics) of Semmelweis University (SE), where some SE students take medicine training in their 7-12. semesters taught in German. The entire evaluation was finished by December 2014. The disciplinary expert committee of HAC (Medical Committee) reviewed and discussed each report made by the visiting team, after which the final accreditation decision was made at the HAC plenary session on December 12, 2014.
Since the last HAC report to NCFMEA no further site visits at foreign clinical training sites were conducted.
 
Analyst Remarks to Narrative
As noted in the previous section, the country reviewed its four medical schools in 2014. The results of the reviews were considered in December 2014, at which time the country's decision-making body accepted the results of the reviews and granted all four medical schools continued accreditation until 2019. The country will next conduct interim reviews at the schools in 2016, and no accrediting activities have taken place in the interim (Ex. 1).

Staff accepts the agency's narrative and supporting documentation, and no additional information is requested.

 
Analyst Remarks to Response
Staff accepted the country's initial response, and no additional information was requested.
 
Staff Conclusion: Comprehensive response provided
 
Laws and regulations
 
Country Narrative
There were no further changes in laws concerning medical education since the last HAC report. Some changes are foreseen in relation to clinical training mainly because of reorganizing of University Clinical Centers that could affect clinical education. For this reason the HAC plans to conduct monitoring procedures in late 2016 to ascertain that the quality of clinical training is retained.
 
Analyst Remarks to Narrative
The country stated in its narrative that there have been no changes to its laws related to medical education. Therefore, it has no documentation to provide.

Staff accepts the agency's narrative, and no additional information is requested.
 
Analyst Remarks to Response
Staff accepted the country's initial response, and no additional information was requested.
 
Staff Conclusion: Comprehensive response provided
 
Standards
 
Country Narrative
The last HAC report on this issue mentioned that a stronger focus on evaluating learning outcomes, follow-up after graduation and quality assurance of clinical training sites was planned. That was in fact done in the recently concluded evaluation round (see below at 5. Processes and procedures) on the basis of the same standards without changes.
 
Analyst Remarks to Narrative
The country indicates in its narrative that while it is placing a stronger emphasis on learning outcomes, follow-up after graduation, and clinical site quality assurance, this is being done within the context of the country's current standards, which have not been changed. There are no standards changes to report.

Staff accepts the agency's narrative, and no additional information is requested.
 
Analyst Remarks to Response
Staff accepted the country's initial response, and no additional information was requested.
 
Staff Conclusion: Comprehensive response provided
 
Processes and procedures
 
Country Narrative
The four universities were informed of this stronger focus in the HAC evaluation mentioned above through written guidelines they received at the start of the process in Summer 2013. Moreover, they were invited for a briefing held on 09.23.2013 where they were provided information and instructions for preparing the self evaluation report by the deadline of 12,15,2013.
Another meeting was held on 11.25.2013 for the expert panel (visiting teams) to discuss the main features, rules and other important details of the process (date of visits, technical issues, availability of documents etc.)
Procedures during the site visits were as usual: interviews with university teachers, leaders of the departments (deans) and institutes, clinics, visits to lecture rooms, laboratories, practical training (when it was available) and meetings with medical students (with Hungarian and foreign students separately) and graduate students (PhD students and residents) also. To obtain even more information from students Survey Monkey questionnaires were sent to the students through the university extranet. Questionnaires filled out were evaluated, and summarized students’ opinions were sent to the experts to ensure that accreditation reports are based, in part, on the students’ feedback. The English version of Student questionnaire is attached as Exhibit 2.
Due to unexpected health problems, Professor Janos Frühling, invited to act as the coordinating expert of the panel, was regretfully unable to take part in the accreditation process. The coordinating chair of the panel was a respected Hungarian professor and member of Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
 
Analyst Remarks to Narrative
As noted in the previous section, he country indicated that is placing a stronger emphasis on learning outcomes, follow-up after graduation, and clinical site quality assurance. This is being done within the context of the country's current standards, which have not been changed. The country reports that the medical schools were informed of the stronger emphasis in these three areas during Summer 2013 and were subsequently invited to various briefing sessions to assist them in preparing their self-studies for the most recent review.

As the country noted, one area of increased emphasis was on increased input and follow-up with students. As documentation, the country provided a sample copy of a questionnaire that was submitted to students in 2014 (Ex. 2). The questionnaire elicited information related student satisfaction with classes/courses, reading lists, tests, written and oral exams, projects, skills and competencies, and practical training.

Staff accepts the country's narrative and supporting documentation, and no additional information is requested.
 
Analyst Remarks to Response
Staff accepted the country's initial response, and no additional information was requested.
 
Staff Conclusion: Comprehensive response provided
 
Schedule of upcoming accreditation activities
 
Country Narrative
As a consequence of the just completed HAC accreditation decisions the follow-up monitoring processes on clinical training involving each medical school are scheduled for 2016.
 
Analyst Remarks to Narrative
As noted in previous sections, the country states that it will not conduct interim reviews of its medical schools until 2016. Therefore, it has no information to provide related to any current schedule of accreditation activities.

Staff accepts the agency's narrative, and no additional information is requested.
 
Analyst Remarks to Response
Staff accepted the country's initial response, and no additional information was requested.
 
Staff Conclusion: Comprehensive response provided