Education Value Units in Medical Education: A Scoping Review

Michael Gottlieb, Linda Regan, Jaime Jordan, Jennifer Westrick, John Bailitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose On the basis of the tripartite mission of patient care, research, and education, a need has arisen to better support faculty in non-revenue-generating activities, such as education. As a result, some programs have developed education value unit (EVU) systems to incentivize these activities. The purpose of this scoping review is to analyze the existing literature on EVUs to identify current structures and future directions for research. Method The authors conducted a literature search of 5 databases without restrictions, searching for any articles on EVU systems published from database inception to January 12, 2022. Two authors independently screened articles for inclusion. Two authors independently extracted data and all authors performed quantitative and qualitative synthesis, consistent with best practice recommendations for scoping reviews. Results Fifty-eight articles were included. The most common rationale was to incentivize activities prioritized by the department or institution. Of those reporting funding, departmental revenue was most common. The majority of EVU systems were created using a dedicated committee, although composition of the committees varied. Stakeholder engagement was a key component for EVU system development. Most EVU systems also included noneducational activities, such as clinical activities, scholarship activities, administrative or leadership activities, and citizenship. Incentive models varied widely but typically involved numeric- or time-based quantification. EVUs were generally seen as positive, having increased equity and transparency as well as a positive impact on departmental metrics. Conclusions This scoping review summarizes the existing literature on EVU systems, providing valuable insights for application to practice and areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-750
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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