The theme of the 2012 Southeast Asian International and Indian National Conference on Health Professions Education will be on "Social accountability: Responding to Societal needs through Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Health Professions Education."
It will be held at PSG Institute of Medical Sciences in Coimbatore, India and is co-sponsored by the South East Asia Regional Association of the World Federation for Medical Education, the World Health Organization-South East Asia Regional Office, and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research.
Social accountability of medical schools is defined by the WHO as "the obligation to direct their education, research and service activities towards addressing the priority health concerns of the community, the region, and /or the nation they have a mandate to serve. The priority health concerns are to be identified jointly by governments, health care organizations, health professional and the public".
Medical education accreditation standards in many parts of the world are being rewritten with an explicit social accountability framework. The focus of this conference will be towards understanding and promoting health sciences education that is aligned with health needs of society, and designing accreditation standards and processes for health sciences education that reflect these principles of social accountability.