The PhD research projects included a systematic literature review and both qualitative and quantitative implementation studies of an EPA-based clerkship curriculum in psychiatry. We found that EPA-based clerkship rotations appear to support achievement of competency-based learning goals in undergraduate medical education. However, we saw differences between proportions of students achieving indirect supervision levels per EPA. This might be a result of specialty specific factors rather than student differences. Thus, we recommend using validated EPAs in specialty rotations that can be nested in core EPAs and guide curriculum design. Clinical residents should be prepared for and adequately supported when assuming key roles in clinical teaching of medical students. Leveraging clinical supervision from different health professions could provide additional formative feedback for clerkship students. Prospective entrustment-supervision scales in combination with prompted narrative feedback should be considered for workplace-based assessment in clerkship curricula.


The overarching aim of this PhD was to explore how to implement and assess Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) in a psychiatry clerkship curriculum.


University Hospital of Old Age Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bern, Graduate School for health sciences Bern


PhD student: Dr. med. et M.Ed. MPH MHBA Severin Pinilla
PhD supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. med et MME Sören Huwendiek
Co-Referee: Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Nissen


Entrustment decisions and the clinical team: A case study of early clinical students.
Pinilla S, Kyrou A, Maissen N, Klöppel S, Strik W, Nissen C, Huwendiek S. Med Educ. 2021 Mar;55(3):365-375. doi: 10.1111/medu.14432. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Entrustable Professional Activities in Psychiatry: A Systematic Review.
Pinilla S, Lenouvel E, Strik W, Klöppel S, Nissen C, Huwendiek S. Acad Psychiatry. 2020 Feb;44(1):37-45. doi: 10.1007/s40596-019-01142-7. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Workplace-based assessments of entrustable professional activities in a psychiatry core clerkship: an observational study.
Pinilla S, Kyrou A, Klöppel S, Strik W, Nissen C, Huwendiek S. BMC Med Educ. 2021 Apr 21;21(1):223. doi: 10.1186/s12909-021-02637-4.

Introducing a Psychiatry Clerkship Curriculum Based on Entrustable Professional Activities: an Explorative Pilot Study.
Pinilla S, Cantisani A, Klöppel S, Strik W, Nissen C, Huwendiek S. Acad Psychiatry. 2021 Jun;45(3):354-359. doi: 10.1007/s40596-021-01417-y. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Project information

Duration: 2018 – 2021