Table 1

Definitions of key concepts and terms related to medical education used within this review

TermDefinition or description
AccreditationRecognition of the compliance of educational services (ie, institutional accreditation) or programme (ie, programmatic accreditation) with pre-established standards (accreditation standards or regulations) of accreditation to provide an objective measure of the quality of the educational programme or institution and the existence of quality assurance mechanisms.
Competency standards or frameworksDefines the major roles or domains within a profession and the knowledge, skills and attributes underlying their performance.75
Curriculum or curriculaBroadly defines the totality of student experiences that take place in the educational process. This may include topics or subjects taught and the educational programme, assessment and other methods used to evaluate student learning (eg, placement or mentorship).
PreregistrationFor the purposes of this review, this includes education which begins with medical school and continues to graduation with the awarding of a degree. This may be undergraduate or postgraduate depending on the jurisdiction but might also be termed as ‘pre-entry’.
PostregistrationFor the purpose of this review, this includes any education during provisional registration, vocational/professional training, specialist and subspecialist training as well as other forms of training/education obtained after graduating from medical school.76
Clinical rotation/placementA fixed period of clinical practice during education (preregistration).
InternshipFirst postgraduate year of practice. In some countries, internship is used to indicate the first year of residency (part of postregistration training).
InternAn individual with restricted registration, who is legally qualified to practise medicine with supervision.
ResidencyA period of postgraduate training in a medical specialty.
Physician/medical clinicianAn individual who is legally qualified to practise medicine without supervision.