What makes a medical school socially accountable? A qualitative thematic review of the evaluation of social accountability of medical schools in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Mohamed Abdalla, Mohamed Taha*, Majed Wadi, Husameldin Khalafalla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Background: The World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Region established social accountability as one of its strategic directions for medical education in 2015, and individual countries have been contributing to ongoing social accountability endeavours.

Aims: This study aimed to identify themes related to compliance with social accountability concepts in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) based on published papers.

Methods: Thematic analysis of qualitative studies was done following a scoping review of published papers in the EMR over the period 1995-2021. CINAHL, Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Sciences were searched along with a manual search for articles from reference lists. The Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the Synthesis of Qualitative Research ENTREQ statement guided the review.

Results: The reviewed studies (n = 3) were from 3 countries in the EMR: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. These studies identified 7 key themes: mission and governance, communication with stakeholders, a community-oriented and community- based curriculum, provision of health services, responding to emerging community health needs, impactful faculty and student research and gaps to be addressed.

Conclusions: Despite the call to reorient health profession schools to be responsive to the community and health system needs, only 3 countries in the EMR reported their efforts to move towards social accountability. Urgent action needs to be taken by medical education leaders in the Region to support colleges in their compliance with social accountability concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-389
Number of pages9
JournalEastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2022


  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical
  • Faculty
  • Humans
  • Schools, Medical
  • Social Responsibility
  • social accountability
  • health professions education
  • social responsibility
  • community-based medical education

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