Transition to practice curriculum for general internal medicine physicians: scoping review and Canadian national survey

BMC Med Educ. 2022 Aug 9;22(1):609. doi: 10.1186/s12909-022-03673-4.


Background: There remains a paucity of evidence for curricula for the transition to practice (TTP) stage of Competence by Design internal medicine (IM) training programs. Current entrustable professional activities are based on expert consensus rather than robust subspecialty-specific needs assessment.

Methods: A scoping review was completed to identify studies with TTP focus. A national survey was conducted to identify transition experiences for general internal medicine physicians. Results were assessed by grounded theory analysis to identify core topics for TTP curricula.

Results: Neither scoping review nor national survey identified TTP topics related to the CanMEDS Medical Expert role. Scoping Review: 41 relevant studies were identified. Most (97.6%) were from North America. The most common study types were observational (survey) or curriculum (13/41 31.7% for each). Only two studies were exclusively in IM, and the most common subspecialty studied was surgical (13/41, 31.7%). The most common TTP topics were mentorship, billing and coding, practice management, negotiating contract and job, and financial aspects of practice. National Survey: There were 44 respondents, with the majority (25/44, 56.8%) having completed an IM subspecialty fellowship. Most (38/44) completed medical school in Canada, and most were from academic practice settings (33/44, 75.0%). The most common TTP topics were billing and coding, personal financial planning, practice management, work-life balance and mentorship. Grounded Theory Analysis: There were six themes that encompassed all TTP topics from the scoping review and national survey, being (i) building a career, (ii) continuing professional development, (iii) expectations of the profession, (iv) practice management, (v) Life, health and well-being and (vi) clinical skills. Curriculum competencies and resources for curriculum development were provided.

Conclusions: This study identifies topics critical for curricula development for IM transition to practice. Further research is required to evaluate effectiveness of curricula including topics and themes developed from this scoping review and national survey.

Keywords: Competency-based medical education; Independent practice; Medical Education; Transition to practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum*
  • General Practitioners*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education