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Alphabet Soup of Medical Education

In medical education, there are quite a few abbreviations used.  This page hopes to explain some of the alphabet soup of medical education.


Educational Program Objectives (EPOs)
The FIU Herbert Wertheim COM educational program objectives encompass the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes students are expected to exhibit as evidence of their achieving competencies necessary for graduation and receipt of the Doctor of Medicine degree. The HWCOM Curriculum Committee uses these educational program objectives to guide decisions regarding specific course content.
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Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs)
The AAMC published new guidelines in May 2014 to provide expectations for learners and teachers that include 13 activities that all medical students should be able to perform upon entering residency. Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) offer a practical approach to assessing competence in real-world settings and impact both learners and patients.
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Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) Objective Structured Clinical Examinations are assessment tools in which students rotated through various stations and are observed and rated using checklists or rubrics. The students strive to demonstrate their competence in various clinical skills such as history taking, communication, physical examination, simple procedures, interpretation of lab results, or management.
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Physician Competency Reference Set (PCRS) 
The Physician Competency Reference Set is a list of common learner expectations utilized in the training of physicians and other health professionals. PCRS will serve as an aggregation tool that allows the AAMC to collect and analyze data through the Curriculum Inventory about competency-based education and the use of expectations (competencies, objectives, milestones, EPAs, etc.) in medical education.
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Professionalism Advocacy Reporting System (PARS)

The Professionalism Advocacy Reporting System is an information gathering database at the HWCOM provided to continuously improve the professionalism of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine's academic community and future physicians. Professionalism is an attribute and competency demanded of all physicians, and forms a vital component of the medical education programs at the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. The Professionalism Advocacy Program of the HWCOM is designed to enhance the professional attitudes and behaviors of members of the learning community. It codifies professionalism standards and describes processes to report, document, evaluate and address incidents of concern. It also provides opportunities to recognize professional excellence.

The system provides for submission of two types of forms: 1) The Professionalism Incident Report (PIR) is used when it is felt that a member of the community has demonstrated unprofessional or inappropriate behavior. 2) The Professionalism Commendation Form (PCF) when it is felt that a member of the community has demonstrated exemplary professional behavior.  All reports are taken very seriously and will be followed up by the Medical Education Administration. Reporting is not necessarily anonymous. Depending on the nature of the incident in question, the recipient may be informed who submitted the report. All appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that those who submit incident reports are protected from any form of retribution. All fields on this form are required for statistical and informational purposes.
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