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Core Entrustable Professional Activities: a Survey of the Confidence of Fourth-Year Medical Students and Residency Program Directors

Abstract

Background

In 2014, the Association of American Medical Colleges published 13 Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) that all medical school graduates should be able to perform on the first day of residency without direct supervision. We undertook a study to determine the confidence level of graduating students at one US medical school in performing the core EPAs and to compare the students’ confidence levels with those of the same institution’s residency program directors (PDs). Understanding differences between intern confidence and PD expectation will allow PDs to be better informed about the educational needs of their early trainees.

Methods

168 of 323 graduating medical students (52 %) in the classes of 2014 and 2015 completed surveys indicating their confidence in accomplishing each EPA using a five-point Likert scale. Twelve residency PDs who train interns completed similar surveys.

Results

Students were generally confident in their abilities. They were most confident in their ability to take a history and perform a physical examination and least confident in performing procedures. There was general agreement in confidence levels between students and PDs across most EPAs. An important difference was in the ability to perform handoffs, with student ratings lower than those of PDs.

Conclusions

Graduating medical students and residency PDs are generally confident that new interns can perform the 13 core EPAs without supervision, although levels of confidence vary by activity. These results can guide future studies on how to incorporate the EPAs into medical school and residency training, especially in areas with lower confidence.

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Acknowledgment

The manuscript was copyedited by Linda J. Kesselring, MS, ELS, the technical editor/writer in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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Correspondence to Laura J. Bontempo.

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The authors have no competing interests to disclose.

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Frayha, N., Bontempo, L.J., Retener, N.F. et al. Core Entrustable Professional Activities: a Survey of the Confidence of Fourth-Year Medical Students and Residency Program Directors. Med.Sci.Educ. 26, 475–480 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-016-0264-5

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Keywords

  • Entrustable professional activities
  • Transition to internship
  • Medical student education