Progression of Self-Directed Learning in Health Professions Education: Clarifying Terms and Processes

Acad Med. 2024 Feb 1;99(2):236. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000005191.


As the complexity ofmedical knowledge and clinical practice continues to grow, physicians and physicians-intrainingmust learn to identify gaps in their knowledge and understand and engage in self-directed learning (SDL) in pursuit of academic goals and improved clinical performance. There is a lack of consensus, however, on the precise definition of SDL and how it relates to self-regulated learning (SRL) and co-regulated learning (CRL). We propose a conceptual framework for understanding the progression of a self-directed learner in the health professions and describe the interplay of SRL and CRL.

MeSH terms

  • Health Occupations
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Physicians*