The social accountability of medical schools and its indicators

Charles Boelen, Shafik Dharamsi, Trevor Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Context: There is growing interest worldwide in social accountability for medical and other health professional schools. Attempts have been made to apply the concept primarily to educational reform initiatives with limited concern towards transforming an entire institution to commit and assess its education, research and service delivery missions to better meet priority health needs in society for an efficient, equitable an sustainable health system. Methods: In this paper, we clarify the concept of social accountability in relation to responsibility and responsiveness by providing practical examples of its application; and we expand on a previously described conceptual model of social accountability (the CPU model), by further delineating the parameters composing the model and providing examples on how to translate them into meaningful indicators. Discussion: The clarification of concepts of social responsibility, responsiveness and accountability and the examples provided in designing indicators may help medical schools and other health professional schools in crafing their own benchmarks to assess progress towards social accountability within the context of their particular environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-194
Number of pages15
JournalEducation for Health: Change in Learning and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Health professional schools
  • Responsiveness and accountability
  • Social responsibility


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