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Social accountability for medical schools has been defined as:

The obligation to direct their education, research and service activities towards addressing the priority health concerns of the community, region, and/or nation that they have a mandate to serve. The priority health concerns are to be identified jointly by governments, health care organisations, health professionals and the public.

Medical Deans has established a Social Accountability Committee to consider the contemporary challenges Australian, New Zealand and other Pacific Island region medical schools face to produce the kind of doctors required by evolving health systems, and to respond to the critical health concerns of society.  We will be supporting Australian and New Zealand medical schools to adopt initiatives and principles which may contribute to the social accountability agenda.

The priorities of the committee are to lead Medical Deans’ work in addressing medical workforce issues contribution to health workforce policy discussions and developments. The group has led the Medical Deans’ work on the development of our 2016 Selection Policy Statement and oversaw the development of the guidance document, Inclusive Medical Education: guidance on medical program applicants and students with a disability.

In 2014 a number of medical schools engaged in a transnational Australia and New Zealand quality improvement process for medical schools utilising Training for Health Equity Network’s (THEnet) evaluation framework.