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Lindsey Lane and Team Lead Competency-Based Pediatrics Curriculum:

Innovative Approach Will Guide Learners Through Medical School and Residency


Lindsey Lane, BM, BCh

When Lindsey Lane, BM BCh, thinks about medical education, the term “Model-T” pops into her head. Sure, this old car might be functional, but few among us would drive it on I-25.

And while she admits her example exaggerates the point, it’s largely true that the framework surrounding medical education has not advanced with the times. But that’s about to change, as Dr. Lane and a team of educators* implement a pilot program called Education in Pediatrics Across the Continuum, or EPAC. 

EPAC is a longitudinal, competency-based pediatric curriculum that spans medical school and residency. The University of Colorado School of Medicine is one of four schools nationwide chosen to participate in the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) program.

Students who began coursework in the fall of 2013 will be the first to have the opportunity to apply. Four students will be selected to follow the curriculum that meets traditional learning objectives while maximizing educational experiences that are important to practicing children’s health care.

The curriculum is designed for flexibility: Students can tailor their experiences to meet their career goals in pediatrics while demonstrating competency and meeting milestones according to the individual’s specific learning needs.

Longitudinal Experiences Help Facilitate Meaningful Interactions

Students will be given the chance to develop strong and long-standing relationships with patients, peers and supervisors. As the learner meets objectives and demonstrates capabilities in the classroom and through workplace-based assessment (such as direct observation and regular clinical evaluations), he or she will be progressively given more responsibility and entrustment for care. Dr. Lane believes that students will benefit from experiencing the contextual nature of medicine, giving them the tools they need to understand how to partner with patients and families in a way that improves health care satisfaction and outcomes.

The enhanced curriculum also helps facilitate a partnership between students and faculty, offering unique opportunities for oversight, mentorship and collaboration.

Dr. Lane believes that medical students will be better prepared for residency and ultimately, for practice.

“EPAC provides a meaningful way for students to focus the work they have to do,” said Dr. Lane. “Longitudinal clinical experience gives students more of a chance of seeing what they are learning in context with patients. As they follow these patients and provide increasing levels of care, learners will be a valuable part of their patient’s evolution of care—for the benefit of the individual patient, their families and the entire health care team.”

Dr. Lane and the EPAC team will continue to educate and promote the program to students and faculty. So far, more than 30 students have expressed interest in learning more about EPAC. 


*The EPAC team includes Jenny Soep, MD and Carol Okada, MD (Co-Directors); Adam Rosenberg MD; Celia Kaye, MD; and Doug Jones, MD (Advisory Group) and Jan Hanson, PhD; Gretchen Guiton, PhD; and Jennifer Gong, PhD (Evaluation Group).​

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