Implementation of a competency-based medical education approach in public health and epidemiology training of medical students

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Background: There is increasing agreement among medical educators regarding the importance of improving the integration between public health and clinical education, understanding and implementation of epidemiological methods, and the ability to critically appraise medical literature. The Sackler School of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University revised its public health and preventive medicine curriculum, during 2013-2014, according to the competency-based medical education (CBME) approach in training medical students. We describe the revised curriculum, which aimed to strengthen competencies in quantitative research methods, epidemiology, public health and preventive medicine, and health service organization and delivery. Methods: We report the process undertaken to establish a relevant 6-year longitudinal curriculum and describe its contents, implementation, and continuous assessment and evaluation. Results: Central competencies included: epidemiology and statistics for appraisal of the literature and implementation of research; the application of health promotion principles and health education strategies in disease prevention; the use of an evidence-based approach in clinical and public health decision making; the examination and analysis of disease trends at the population level; and knowledge of the structure of health systems and the role of the physician in these systems. Two new courses, in health promotion, and in public health, were added to the curriculum, and the courses in statistics and epidemiology were joined. Annual evaluation of each course results in continuous revisions of the syllabi as needed, while we continue to monitor the whole curriculum. Conclusions: The described revision in a 6 year-medical school training curriculum addresses the currently identified needs in public health. Ongoing feedback from students, and re-evaluation of syllabus by courses teams are held annually. Analysis of student's written feedbacks and courses evaluations of "before and after" the implementation of this intervention is taking place to examine the effect of the new curriculum on the perceived clinical and research capacities of our 6-year students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2018


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