For decades, educators in the clinical sciences have been at the forefront of innovations in educational practices related to science and medicine. Ultimately, such innovations are often translated and implemented as best practices across the breadth of biomedical disciplines. Far from novel, competency-based approaches to higher education have been around since the 1960s. These have their origins in student outcomes-based models that focus on the assessment of demonstrated competencies through students’ applications of theory, learned in the classroom, to perform a task and/or resolve a defined issue or problem. Despite its long history of contributing to human medical education and, more recently, veterinary medical education, competency-based instruction is still rare in undergraduate biomedical education. Herein, we discuss the value of clinical education in leading the way toward competency-based, undergraduate biomedical programs.
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