Teaching population health: A competency map approach to education

Journal Article

A 2012 Institute of Medicine report is the latest in the growing number of calls to incorporate a population health approach in health professionals' training. Over the last decade, Duke University, particularly its Department of Community and Family Medicine, has been heavily involved with community partners in Durham, North Carolina, to improve the local community's health. On the basis of these initiatives, a group of interprofessional faculty began tackling the need to fill the curriculum gap to train future health professionals in public health practice, community engagement, critical thinking, and team skills to improve population health effectively in Durham and elsewhere. The Department of Community and Family Medicine has spent years in care delivery redesign and curriculum experimentation, design, and evaluation to distinguish the skills trainees and faculty need for population health improvement and to integrate them into educational programs. These clinical and educational experiences have led to a set of competencies that form an organizational framework for curricular planning and training. This framework delineates which learning objectives are appropriate and necessary for each learning level, from novice through expert, across multiple disciplines and domains. The resulting competency map has guided Duke's efforts to develop, implement, and assess training in population health for learners and faculty. In this article, the authors describe the competency map development process as well as examples of its application and evaluation at Duke and limitations to its use with the hope that other institutions will apply it in different settings.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kaprielian, VS; Silberberg, M; McDonald, MA; Koo, D; Hull, SK; Murphy, G; Tran, AN; Sheline, BL; Halstater, B; Martinez-Bianchi, V; Weigle, NJ; Oliveira, JSD; Sangvai, D; Copeland, J; Tilson, HH; Scutchfield, FD; Michener, JL

Published Date

  • 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 88 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 626 - 637

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1040-2446

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828acf27