The Commission on the Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century—a global independent initiative—was launched in January 2010 to landscape the field of professional health education, identify gaps and opportunities, and make recommendations for a new generation of reforms a century after the landmark Flexner Report of 1910.
This independent initiative was led by co-chairs Julio Frenk and Lincoln Chen, working with 20 leaders pictured on this page from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, institutional affiliations, and regions of the world. Over the course of 2010, the Commission conducted research, deliberated and promoted consultations. The brevity of time shaped the scope and depth of consultations, data compilation, analyses and research. Commissioners articulated a fresh vision with practical recommendations for specific actions to transform the education of health professionals in all countries.
The idea of the Commission emerged from a series of conversations that Commission co-chairs Julio Frenk and Lincoln Chen had with Harvey Fineberg, from the Institute of Medicine, and Jaime Sepulveda and Kathy Cahill from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A Scientific Advisory Committee with 14 members and 25 Youth Commissioners also provided valuable inputs. The co-chairs supervised the research and management teams operating out of the China Medical Board and the Harvard School of Public Health.
The Commission was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the China Medical Board.
Calling for major reform in the training of doctors and other healthcare professionals, the report of the Commission was published by The Lancet on 29 November 2010. It was publicly released at a symposium hosted by the Harvard School of Public Health, 30 November - 1 December 2010.