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Korean J Med Educ. 2012 Dec;24(4):281-5. doi: 10.3946/kjme.2012.24.4.281. Epub 2012 Dec 31.

Outcome-based medical education: implications, opportunities, and challenges.

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Department of Medical Education, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, USA.


Outcome-based education (OBE) is a major reframing of how medical educators think about teaching, learning, and assessment. There are many alternative versions of OBE and the implications of this framework are not always well-understood. A review of the literature on OBE and an analysis of the educational implications suggest seven areas of contrast with traditional educational frameworks. Key contrasts center around how educational outcomes are defined, the emphasis of learning over teaching, the centrality of rigorous assessment, the need for flexibility and individualization in the curriculum, and shifting roles and responsibilities of teachers and learners. OBE has the potential for dramatic and even revolutionary changes in medical education. However, it carries with it significant challenges that include the expenses of additional assessment, uncertainty among students and faculty about their responsibilities, and complexities in planning and organizing the educational process. Instead, of whole-hearted adoption of the OBE model, most medical schools and residency programsare exploring OBE in small-scale "experiments" that will inform the field about the best ways to incorporate the critical features of OBE into medical education. Such experiments are invaluable for helping us better understand the promise and possibilities of OBE.


Competence; Curriculum; Educational outcomes; Educational reform

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