Feasibility study of a competence-based teaching method (Toolbox GP) on the learning success of medical students and satisfaction of supervising physicians: How to integrate Entrustable Professional Activities into general practice teaching

Nicola Amarell, Dorothea Wild, Birgitta Weltermann

Keywords: Elective general medicine/general practice, clerkship, medical students, medical education, teaching medical students in primary care, Entrustable Professional Activities, undergraduate medical education

Motivating medical students to go into primary care is crucial in ensuring a sufficient supply of future General practitioners (GP). Unfortunately, students often find clerkships in general medicine underwhelming. The quality of activation can vary greatly and has a significant impact on students’ interest in primary care. The concept of Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) might help to offer motivating and competence-based medical education. EPAs comprise two complementary parts: 1) professional activities based on everyday medical work and 2) the level of supervision. This linking of activity and supervision level creates a performance-based operationalisability of medical education.

Research questions:
Is a Toolbox GP based on EPAs a feasible method to improve the teaching situation and student satisfaction in general practices?

Our teaching intervention “Toolbox GP” was developed under consideration of standardized learning/teaching contents for GP based on the concept of EPAs and is a format that allows maximum flexibility to the situation in teaching practices. Six GP teaching practices of the Institute of Family Medicine of the University Hospital Bonn and six medical students of the Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn will be invited to test the new toolbox teaching concept for two weeks. Evaluation is planned using semi-standardized questionnaires and the think-aloud-method to optimize the teaching method.
Results: The piloting will be conducted during the next weeks. Results are expected to be available at the congress.

The piloting will be conducted during the next weeks. Results are expected to be available at the congress.

The results of this feasibility study will be used to prepare a future implementation study of a comprehensive EPA-based teaching concept for GP practices including didactic workshops for supervising physicians, a toolbox with GP-specific tasks for medical students, and additional online learning materials.

Points for discussion:
How can teaching interventions be implemented and measured in GP practices?

What are the most effective methods for conducting faculty development for supervising general practitioners?