Introduction: Medical education is moving toward a competency-based framework with a focus on assessment using the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Milestones. Assessment of individual competencies through milestones can be challenging. While competencies describe characteristics of the person, the entrustable professional activities (EPAs) concept refers to work-related activities. EPAs would not replace the milestones but would be linked to them, integrating these frameworks. Many core specialties have already defined EPAs for resident trainees, but EPAs have not yet been created for emergency medicine (EM). This paper describes the development of milestone-linked EPAs for EM.
Methods: Ten EM educators from across North America formed a consensus working group to draft EM EPAs, using a modified Glaser state-of-the-art approach. A reactor panel with EPA experts from the United States, Canada and the Netherlands was created, and an iterative process with multiple revisions was performed based on reactor panel input. Following this, the EPAs were sent to the Council of Residency Directors for EM (CORD-EM) listserv for additional feedback.
Results: The product was 11 core EPAs that every trainee from every EM program should be able to perform independently by the time of graduation. Each EPA has associated knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors (KSAB), which are either milestones themselves or KSABs linked to individual milestones. We recognize that individual programs may have additional focus areas or work-based activities they want their trainees to achieve by graduation; therefore, programs are also encouraged to create additional program-specific EPAs.
Conclusion: This set of 11 core, EM-resident EPAs can be used as an assessment tool by EM residency programs, allowing supervising physicians to document the multiple entrustment decisions they are already making during clinical shifts with trainees. The KSAB list within each EPA could assist supervisors in giving specific, actionable feedback to trainees and allow trainees to use this list as an assessment-for-learning tool. Linking each KSAB to individual EM milestones allows EPAs to directly inform milestone assessment for clinical competency committees. These EPAs serve as another option for workplace-based assessment, and are linked to the milestones to create an integrated framework.