Improving Medical Education: A Narrative Review

Cureus. 2021 Oct 14;13(10):e18773. doi: 10.7759/cureus.18773. eCollection 2021 Oct.


With the advancement in basic and clinical sciences, medical education is also constantly evolving. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has endorsed six core competencies to improve teaching and learning. This narrative review was conducted after searching the article databases (PubMed, PubMed Central, Embase, and Scopus) about the core competencies such as medical knowledge (problem-based learning), interpersonal communication, patient care, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and system-based care endorsed by ACGME. We included randomized and quasi-experimental trials, cohorts, and case-control studies in this narrative review. In a problem-based learning modality, a real-life scenario is allocated to a group of students. Studies have shown that it is more effectively demonstrated by a better post-test score, improved concentration, and application of knowledge. Interpersonal communication skills promote collaboration with interdisciplinary teams, work quality, and patient adherence to treatment. Professionalism is a human attribute that creates a pleasant work environment and is an essential trait that improves patients' adherence to treatment. In system-based care, patients are benefitted through a well-structured plan of care. Finally, in practice-based learning, medical trainees learn to systematically evaluate the pattern of care and practice the best modality to improve the overall patient care and physician satisfaction. These core competencies need to be incorporated into all levels of medical training.

Keywords: communication; medical education; patient care; physicians; problem-based learning; professionalism; students.

Publication types

  • Review