Six Iraqi Medical Colleges (Baghdad, Al Iraqia, Al Kindi, Kufa, Karbala and Wasit) met in Erbil between 15-18 February to discuss the assessment of undergraduate medical students. This workshop built on a previous one that had also been supported by the British Council, and which focussed on how recently qualified graduates could deliver safe and effective clinical care. This workshop considered a range of methods of assessing the knowledge, skills and professional behaviours of undergraduate medical students. It was led by Professor Nigel Bax and Professor Deborah Bax from the University of Sheffield, who at the start of the workshop delivered a message from Professor Sir Keith Burnett, the Vice Chancellor of the university which is shown below.
The workshop was highly interactive with presentations from each College on how they currently undertake assessment of their students and everyone engaged in writing and quality assuring questions suitable for the summative assessment of students. The great value of having a Quality Assurance process to evaluate questions intended for use in summative assessment became apparent. A further feature of the workshop was how students might be supported throughout their undergraduate careers by an Academic Mentor who works with them for the entire duration of their studies. The need for regular and supportive feedback to students was discussed in detail and its value was well recognised by those at the workshop. As with the previous workshop, participants engaged in vigorous and well informed discussions which resulted in high levels of consensus.