Monkey see, monkey do: a critique of the competency model in graduate medical education

Med Educ. 2004 Jun;38(6):587-92. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2004.01794.x.


Background: Graduate medical education in the UK is in danger of being subsumed in a minimalist discourse of competency.

Argument: While accepting that competence in a doctor is a sine qua non, the author criticises the construction of a graduate and specialist medical education based solely upon a competency model. Many competency models follow the concepts of either academic competence or operational competence, both of which have lately been subject to criticism.

Conclusion: The author discusses the need for replacing such criterion-referenced models in favour of a model that engages the higher order competence, performance and understanding which represent professional practice at its best.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Competency-Based Education / methods
  • Curriculum / standards
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards*
  • Humans
  • Professional Practice / standards
  • United Kingdom