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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Academic Primer Series: Key Papers About Competency-Based Medical Education


Introduction: Competency-based medical education (CBME) presents a paradigm shift in medicaltraining. This outcome-based education movement has triggered substantive changes across the globe.Since this transition is only beginning, many faculty members may not have experience with CBMEnor a solid foundation in the grounding literature. We identify and summarize key papers to help facultymembers learn more about CBME.

Methods: Based on the online discussions of the 2016-2017 ALiEM Faculty Incubator program, a seriesof papers on the topic of CBME was developed. Augmenting this list with suggestions by a guest expertand by an open call on Twitter for other important papers, we were able to generate a list of 21 papers intotal. Subsequently, we used a modified Delphi study methodology to narrow the list to key papers thatdescribe the importance and significance for educators interested in learning about CBME. To determinethe most impactful papers, the mixed junior and senior faculty authorship group used three-round votingmethodology based upon the Delphi method.

Results: Summaries of the five most highly rated papers on the topic of CBME, as determined by thismodified Delphi approach, are presented in this paper. Major themes include a definition of core CBMEthemes, CBME principles to consider in the design of curricula, a history of the development of the CBMEmovement, and a rationale for changes to accreditation with CBME. The application of the study findingsto junior faculty and faculty developers is discussed.

Conclusion: We present five key papers on CBME that junior faculty members and faculty expertsidentified as essential to faculty development. These papers are a mix of foundational and explanatorypapers that may provide a basis from which junior faculty members may build upon as they help toimplement CBME programs.

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