Medical School

What is the Educational Performance Measure (EPM)?

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You may hear the term EPM, which stands for Educational Performance Measure, bandied around by professors and other medical students when you get to medical school. Here I’ll give you a brief overview of what the educational performance measure is and how it is calculated.

So what is the EPM?

The EPM is the score given to graduates to measure their clinical and non-clinical work, achievements and performance. It makes up 50% of your score towards your application to the Foundation Programme. Three things are combined to generate your EPM:

  • Medical School Performance
  • Additional Degrees
  • Academic Achievements

What are these three sections, and what is the importance attached to each?

Medical School Performance

This is essentially your ‘grade’ after graduating medical school. It is worth between 34 and 43 points of the 50 points that make up your educational performance measure. Every graduating medical student at your medical school will be ranked and placed into ten bands (deciles). Your band then dictates the number of points you gain, with the bottom 10% of your year getting 34 points and the top 10% getting 43 points.

Each medical school will have a different way of ranking your year, visit your own medical school’s website or ask your department to find out which assessments are included in your ranking.

Additional Degrees

You can gain up to 5 additional points towards your educational performance measure from your other, non-medical degrees. Here are how many points each of the different types of degrees you could undertake will give you:

  • Only holding your medical degree qualification
  • A third-class (3rd) undergraduate degree (or a 2.2 BMedSci from Uni of Nottingham)
  • A 2.2 in an undergraduate degree (or a 2.1 BMedSci from Uni of Nottingham)
  • A 2.1 in an undergraduate degree (or a 1st BMedSci from Uni of Nottingham)
  • A 1st in an undergraduate degree, a postgraduate Masters degree (all classes), Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine
  • A doctoral degree
Academic Achievements

You can get up to 2 points from your academic achievements during your studies. These can be gained by successfully publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals. You get one point for each publication, up to a maximum of two points. In order to qualify, your publications must have a PubMed ID.

As you can see, the largest contributor to your EPM will be from your ranking within your year, so get studying! The other two components make up 0-8 points of the 50 available. For the NHS Foundation Programme’s official breakdown of EPM, check out this document. The British Medical Council, Medical Schools Council and the General Medical Council also have useful information regarding the process of applying to the foundation programme, so do if you have further questions visit their pages.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post, I hope you have found it useful. Please do leave a comment below, and to get in contact with me directly head over to the Contact page. If you are thinking about applying to medicine, please check out my posts in the Admissions category.

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Connor is a medical student at King’s College London. For the 19/20 academic year he is undertaking an intercalated iBSc in Imaging Sciences, also at King’s.

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