Faculty Development Revisited: A Systems-Based View of Stakeholder Development to Meet the Demands of Entrustable Professional Activity Implementation

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Abstract

In 2015, the Association of American Medical Colleges implemented an interinstitutional pilot of 13 core entrustable professional activities (EPAs) for entering residency, activities that entering residents should be expected to perform with indirect supervision. The pilot included a concept group on faculty development; this group previously offered a shared mental model focused on the development of faculty who devote their efforts to clinical teaching and assessment for learning and entrustment decision making. In this article, the authors draw from the literature of competency-based education to propose what is needed in overall approaches to faculty development to prepare institutions for undergraduate EPA implementation.

Taking a systems-based view that defines the necessary tasks of EPA implementation, the authors move beyond the variably used term “faculty” and enumerate a comprehensive list of institutional stakeholders who can meaningfully support and/or engage in the relationships and organizational processes required for EPA learning and assessment. They consider each group’s responsibilities and development needs according to five domains delineated by Steinert: teaching improvement, leadership and management, research-building capacity, academic career building, and organizational change.

The authors argue that the EPA framework addresses barriers posed with the use of a competency-based framework. By facilitating the communication required for organizational change, enabling valid assessment with comprehensive yet feasible levels of faculty development, and incorporating all relevant data on student professional behavior into summative assessment decisions, EPAs may offer a clearer path toward the goal of competency-based education.

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