Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the practicality and feasibility of EPA (level 4 theory) for establishing medical training and service model in China.
Method: We opted for a mixed qualitative and quantitative research method, considering both explanatory and exploratory sequential designs. The qualitative research comprehended focus groups and interviews conducted with two panels of experts. The quantitative research was conducted to collect data about the applicability of international entrustable professional activities (EPAs) pediatrics standards in the Chinese context by organizing a seminar with a sample of 60 pediatricians. A questionnaire was designed with EPAs and distributed within professional networks. Structural equation modeling and statistical analysis were used to process the data.
Results: In this study, Medical Service-Groups Model (MSGM) with four levels was successfully established to measure the correlation between specialized and general EPAs. As expected, results showed that specialized EPAs were built on top of general EPAs. There may be a mediating mechanism that general EPAs contribute to the lower level of specialization EPAs. In addition, levels 1 and 2 were primarily needed to lay the groundwork for levels 3 and 4, and these higher levels of EPAs were still the most informative for specialized Gastroenterology EPAs.
Conclusions: The diagnosis and treatment level of primary general practitioners, as the basis of the pediatric medical service chain, affected the clinical disposal ability of specialists. The establishment of MSGM provided a theoretical basis for the linkage training of general practitioners and specialist physicians. In future studies, scholars must explore China's EPAs based on unique national conditions.