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Teach Learn Med. 2019 Jun 8:1-11. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2019.1618307. [Epub ahead of print]

Senior-Year Curriculum in U.S. Medical Schools: A Scoping Review.

Author information

1
a Department of Emergency Medicine , Maine Medical Center , Portland , Maine , USA.
2
b Department of Medical Education , University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine , Chicago , Illinois , USA.

Abstract

Phenomenon: Many U.S. medical schools have responded to the adoption of competency-based medical education (CBME) frameworks by renewing their final-year curricula and including internship preparatory courses. The purpose of this scoping review was to map the published literature regarding the final year to discern how medical schools have responded to this paradigm change. Approach: A structured 5-step approach was used to conduct this scoping review. Electronic searches of PubMed, ERIC, Scopus, MedEdPortal, and 8 medical education journals were conducted to identify relevant articles published from 2006 to 2016. Four authors screened articles for inclusion using standardized eligibility criteria; interrater agreement was discussed and calculated. Authors extracted data elements, and a consensus-based approach was used to categorize, sort, and structure information gathered. Findings: Among 6,485 articles retrieved, 817 articles were included in the study. From 2007-2011 to 2012-2016, articles addressing the final year of medical school increased 93%, whereas articles describing internship preparatory courses increased 218%. The majority of articles did not reference a CBME framework (572/817; 70%), the frequency of mentions increased 268% from 2007-2011 to 2012-2016. Nearly three fourths of preparatory course-related papers reference a CBME framework (37/50; 74%). Insights: Our findings may reflect a movement in U.S. medical schools toward using shared assessment metrics to support 4th-year medical students' preparation for their postgraduate medical education. Despite an increased reference to CBME, there is relatively little use of competency-based assessment frameworks to evaluate learning outcomes. This review also found a substantial increase in the frequency of articles referencing senior-year preparatory courses in U.S. medical schools. Articles tended to describe institution-specific research or experiences. Opportunities likely exist for multi-institutional and organizational collaboration in determining the structure of the final year of medical school.

KEYWORDS:

competency; curriculum; transition from medical school to residency

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