SIU Medical Education Programs Receive Three International Awards

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An international organization has recognized Southern Illinois University School of Medicine for its medical education programs. SIU was the only medical school to be recognized in all three areas by the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE).

AMEE is a worldwide organization with members in 90 countries on five continents. Members include educators, researchers, administrators, curriculum developers, assessors and students in medicine and the health-care professions. The awards given were part of the ASPIRE program, which, according to its website, “aims to recognize and promote outstanding performance and excellence in teaching and learning in medicine, taking into account the school’s mission and the difficulties and contexts in which a school is operating.”

SIU received awards for outstanding efforts in the following areas: student assessment (how well the performance of students is evaluated), student engagement (how involved students are in their own education and the curriculum), and social accountability (how the school exposes its students to the needs of the public and the community).  

“These awards are especially gratifying because it is a professional peer review of our programs,” said Debra Klamen, MD, associate dean for education and curriculum. “SIU continues to be recognized for its excellence on a global scale.”

SIU Assistant Professor of Medical Education Anna Cianciolo, Ph.D., accepted the award on August 25 at the international meeting in Prague.

“These awards exemplify how we at SIU School of Medicine continue to be a world-leader in medical education and provide our medical students with an innovative, engaging and patient-centered learning experience,” Cianciolo said.

Since it began in 1970, SIU School of Medicine has been consistently recognized as an innovative leader in medical education. It pioneered now-commonly used educational methods, including problem-based learning and standardized patients.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ annual graduation questionnaire, more than 92% of recent SIU School of Medicine fourth-year medical students have reported that they are satisfied with the quality of their education, higher than the national average.

The School is based in Carbondale and Springfield and is specifically oriented to educating new physicians prepared to practice in Illinois communities. Since opening, more than 2,500 physicians have graduated from its program.  Its website is


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