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AAMC Pediatric Program Focuses on Competency-based Learning

Washington, D.C., May 31, 2013— Education in Pediatrics Across the Continuum (EPAC), a project of the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), has been supported by a three-year grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. The pilot programs funded by this grant will explore the feasibility of moving away from the traditional model (four years of medical school plus three years of residency training) to competency-based advancement from medical school through residency and practice in pediatrics. 

“Innovative programs like EPAC showcase the work of the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals to transform medical education and, ultimately, patient care,” said Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, AAMC president and CEO. “By emphasizing the competencies students possess, EPAC takes a big step toward achieving our shared goal of creating a true continuum, where each phase of medical education contributes to the next in a meaningful way—all to train the kind of physician we would like at our bedside.”

The four schools of medicine participating in the pilot—the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Colorado, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Utah—will identify a preliminary group of first-year students this fall from which the inaugural EPAC group will be chosen during their second year. These students will focus on a career in pediatrics and agree to remain at their respective institutions for residency training. Using a framework based on the routine professional activities of pediatrics, or “entrustable professional activities,” the students will advance through the program as they master each competency, rather than through the traditional, “fixed-time” model. The founding co-sponsors of this effort are Deborah Powell, M.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, and Carol Carraccio, M.D. of the American Board of Pediatrics.


The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 145 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at


Susan Beach