“Dismantling Fixed Time, Variable Outcome Education: Abandoning ‘Ready or Not, Here they Come’ is Overdue”

Alison Lentz
Carol Carraccio
Daniel J. Schumacher
Soort article
Eye Opener
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Two decades after competency-based medical education appeared in the lexicon of medical educators, the community continues to struggle with realizing its full potential. The implementation of the time variable, fixed outcome component has languished based on complexity compounded by resistance to change. Learners continue to transition from medical school to residency, and then practice, primarily based on time rather than having achieved the ability to meet the needs of the patient populations they will serve. Only those few who demonstrate glaring deficiencies do not graduate.

The authors urge the medical education community to move from the current fixed time path of medical education toward the implementation of a true continuum of time variable, fixed outcome education, training, and deliberate practice. The latter is defined by purposeful learning, coaching, feedback, and repetition on the path to achieving and maintaining expertise. The opportunities afforded by such a time-variable, fixed outcome approach include: 1) development of a career long growth mindset, 2) ability to address evolving population health needs and careers within the context of one’s practice, and 3) continual improvement of care quality and outcomes for patients on the journey towards expertise for providers.


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