Can Entrustable Professional Activities Drive Learning: What We Can Learn from the Jesuits

  • Spencer H. L. Wan
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 843)


Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) has recently been the buzzword in medical education and in the realm of the healthcare professions. Medical professional bodies and medical educators worldwide envision the development of EPAs as a promising approach to overcome the difficulties in assessing their trainee’s competencies in a work-integrated learning (WIL) clinical environment. Albeit numerous research has been done on how EPAs can be used as a stopwatch type of competencies assessment method helping to ensure medical trainees are judged to be the best based on well-tested as well as agreed-upon meaningful standards, the prime and essential question of how best EPAs could drive students’ daily self-directed learning for their continuous professional development of expertise remains largely unanswered. Amid this leading-edge development in the competency-based medical education (CBME) along with the important role healthcare has to play in the 21st century’s global society, there is an increasing need to understand current processes of change and the impact this will have on preparing medical professionals and on healthcare in the coming future. With this endeavour in mind, this paper provides an update on the progress of this gradually establishing approach to competency-based medical education, identifies the essence of this emerging novel workplace-based assessment method in relations to a review of the contemporary competency-based medical education, and finally explores how Jesuit’s wisdom could be used in furthering EPAs’ potential impact on attainment of medical education’s mission.


Entrustable professional activities (EPA) Work-integrated learning (WIL) Jesuit Medical education Competency-based assessment process Clinical settings 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MedicineWestern Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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