Benefits of EPAs at risk? The influence of the workplace environment on the uptake of EPAs in EPA-based curricula

Fedde Scheele
Karsten Arthur van Loon
Linda Helena Anna Bonnie
Nynke van Dijk
Soort article
Original Research
Curriculum development,
Entrustable professional activities (EPAs),
Postgraduate medical education,
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Introduction Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) have been applied differently in many postgraduate medical education (PGME) programmes, but the reasons for and the consequences of this variation are not well known. Our objective was to investigate how the uptake of EPAs is influenced by the workplace environment and to what extent the benefits of working with EPAs are at risk when the uptake of EPAs is influenced. This knowledge can be used by curriculum developers who intend to apply EPAs in their curricula.

Method For this qualitative study, we selected four PGME programmes: General Practice, Clinical Geriatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Radiology & Nuclear Medicine. A document analysis was performed on the national training plans, supported by the AMEE Guide for developing EPA-based curricula and relevant EPA-based literature. Interviews were undertaken with medical specialists who had specific involvement in the development of the curricula. Content analysis was employed and illuminated the possible reasons for variation in the uptake of EPAs.

Results An important part of the variation in the uptake of EPAs can be explained by environmental factors, such as patient population, the role of the physician in the health-care system, and the setup of local medical care institutions where the training programme takes place. The variation in uptake of EPAs is specifically reflected in the number and breadth of the EPAs, and in the way the entrustment decision is executed within the PGME programme.


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