Taiwan's medical education system bears a close relationship with its colonial and post-colonial history. Since the late nineteenth century, Western medicine, Chinese medicine, and the practice of the other forms of traditional healing have encountered complex transactions with the state and one another, eventually evolving into the present medical system. Nowadays, the mainstream form of medical education in Taiwan is a 7-year Western program; other forms of medical education include a 5-year graduate program and traditional medicine programs. Challenged by the National Health Insurance that emphasizes cost management since 1995 and criticized by the US National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation in 1998, medical education reform was implemented by the Taiwan Medical Accreditation Council established in 2000. The reform tries to bring humanities into various aspects of medical education, including student recruitment, curriculum, licensing, and continuing education. Similar to other modernization projects, the reform transplants the American and British standards to Taiwan. These changes hope to insure the reflective capabilities in physicians on the welfare of patients. However, frustration of current and future physicians may be deepened if the reform is insensitive to local issues or incapable of addressing new global tendencies.
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