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AMEE 2016 : Do We Want Competent or Excellent Doctors?

Posted by Lauren Patrick on September 27, 2016

Evolving Medical Education is not Without Controversy

Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) Is clearly an area of discussion and controversy worldwide. Medical education is in the middle of a paradigm shift from the old style of medical education, referred to as “Structure/Process” education, initiated in 1910, to CBME. To learn about CBME, a good starting point is AM Rounds. During the AMEE conference, some cynical delegates stated that ‘Competency Based Medical Education’ (CBME) could be misinterpreted as ‘Checklist Based Measurable Education’.

Nevertheless, the paradigm shift is well underway and one aspect of evaluation is the discussion of levels of competency as they align with the physician’s career and practice of medicine.


At AMEE, the question was posed as “do you want to be treated by a competent doctor or an excellent doctor?” Clearly the level of competency needs to be set a particular level and may take some learners longer to achieve than others.

There was a tension across medical educators and at the conference between the idea of "striving for excellence" versus "aiming competence." Pose yourself the following question: Which one of these ‘competent‘ pilots do you want to land the plane?


Food for thought and discussion…

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