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    EPAC Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Education in Pediatrics Across the Continuum (EPAC)?

    EPAC is a pilot program using a competency-based framework to design a medical education pathway from early in medical school through the completion of residency. It is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and receives support through a grant from the Josiah H. Macy Foundation.

    Learn more about EPAC


    What if I don’t choose to participate in EPAC activities or the EPAC program…can I still become a pediatrician?

    Absolutely! The participating medical schools train students for competitive careers in pediatrics and in all areas of medicine.

    EPAC is just one of many paths that students may choose on their path toward a career in pediatrics.


    What if I’m not sure yet whether I want to pursue a career in pediatrics?

    Many students don't know their ultimate practice field upon entry to medical school. The medical school curriculum will expose all students to pediatrics over time.

    EPAC is specifically for the subset of medical students entering medical school with a known desire to pursue pediatric medicine as a future career focus.


    I’m not ready to think about future specialties but I want to keep the door open for pediatrics. Can I pursue pediatrics if I’m not involved in EPAC?

    Yes. Many students wait to decide on their future career goals until the clinical years of medical school.

    EPAC experiences are NOT required for a successful career in pediatrics or for a successful career in a pediatric-related field.


    What if I enter EPAC and decide it is not right for me?

    Students may opt-out of EPAC if they do not feel EPAC is right for them.

    EPAC is a parallel track to your regular medical school education. Therefore, opting out will not put you at any disadvantage in terms of your progress towards the M.D. degree.


    What if the number of students interested in all or part of the EPAC program exceeds expectations?

    If interest exceeds availability of space, a selection process will take place.

    Based on the stage of EPAC and school, this selection process will either be random or include defined criteria.


    If I choose to participate in EPAC, will that limit my ability to graduate from medical school or to pursue other medical areas of interest?

    Students in EPAC will meet all of their medical school’s education program objectives and graduation requirements for the M.D. degree (including required assessments) in the same way as all students at their school.

    There will be additional objectives and assessments specifically for the EPAC educational program.

    Therefore, students are on track with their non-EPAC peers should they choose to pursue other fields of practice or not to continue in the EPAC program.


    What if I want to pursue pediatrics or a pediatric-related field and I do not do an EPAC activity? Is that OK?

    Yes. EPAC activities are among many pediatric opportunities you will have in medical school.


    If I chose not to participate in the early EPAC activities but later decided to pursue pediatrics, can I still participate in EPAC?

    It may be difficult to participate in the later parts of EPAC (such as the competency-based assessments and the continuation into residency) without participating in the offerings from the start.

    If you think you may be interested in the later phases of EPAC, we recommend you contact your school’s EPAC director to express interest and assess participation opportunities.


    I have plans to take time off during my medical training to pursue additional degrees or other activities. Can I still participate in all of EPAC?

    For the first pilot classes of EPAC, we may be unable to accommodate students in extended programs for the portion of EPAC that extends into pediatric residency training.

    There may be some EPAC offerings, however, in which we welcome your participation.

    Contact your school’s EPAC director for specifics.


    I am a first-year student interested in EPAC — what do I need to do now?

    Contact your school’s EPAC program director.

    Find the program director at participating institutions


    Can other schools join EPAC?

    At this point, we are focused on demonstrating feasibility at the four cohort schools.

    If we can demonstrate early successes, we anticipate inviting additional schools to join in a "second wave."