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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Resident Self-Assessment and the Deficiency of Individualized Learning Plans in Our Residencies


Introduction: The focus of residency training is to ensure that graduates attain a minimum level of skills and knowledge in order to be able to practice independently. While there are multiple formal methods to evaluate a resident, there is a paucity of literature that describes whether programs have residents perform individual self-assessment (ISA) with the development of individualized learning plans (ILP) to better themselves. We sought to investigate the current state of emergency medicine (EM) residency programs using ISA and determine whether these assessments are used to develop an ILP for each resident.

Methods: An electronic survey was developed by educators at our institution and sent to all program leaders of United States EM residencies approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. An individualized email request was sent to non-responders. Results were obtained from February–May 2019.

Results: Of 240 programs we contacted, 119 (49.5%) completed the survey. Seventy-nine percent of programs reported that they had all residents perform an ISA. These were completed semiannually in 69% of the programs surveyed, annually in 19%, less than annually in 8%, and quarterly or more frequently in 4%. Of those programs requiring a resident ISA, only 21% required that all residents develop an ILP; 79% had only those residents requiring additional help or no residents develop an ILP.

Conclusion: Most programs that completed the survey reported having residents complete an individual self-assessment, but there was variation in the areas assessed. The majority of programs had only lower performing, or no residents, develop an ILP based on this.

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