The aim is to identify a relevant framework to study self-efficacy in relation to the impact of medical education curricula. In medical education research, self-efficacy beliefs have mostly been studied in relation to their impact on the mastery of communication competencies and clinical skills. Few studies are available - in the medical domain - that centre on a broader range of medical curriculum competencies, the way self-efficacy improves self-regulated learning, how self-efficacy affects motivation, provides study support, how self-efficacy boosts the career development of students and, how self-efficacy influences social and emotional support of students. (c) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.