Identifying entrustable professional activities in internal medicine training

J Grad Med Educ. 2013 Mar;5(1):54-9. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-12-00060.1.


Background: Entrustable professional activities (EPAs) can form the foundation of competency-based assessment in medical training, focused on performance of discipline-specific core clinical activities.

Objective: To identify EPAs for the Internal Medicine (IM) Educational Milestones to operationalize competency-based assessment of residents using EPAs.

Methods: We used a modified Delphi approach to conduct a 2-step cross-sectional survey of IM educators at a 3-hospital IM residency program; residents also completed a survey. Participants rated the importance and appropriate year of training to reach competence for 30 proposed IM EPAs. Content validity indices identified essential EPAs. We conducted independent sample t tests to determine IM educator-resident agreement and calculated effect sizes. Finally, we determined the effect of different physician roles on ratings.

Results: Thirty-six IM educators participated; 22 completed both surveys. Twelve residents participated. Seventeen EPAs had a content validity index of 100%; 10 additional EPAs exceeded 80%. Educators and residents rated the importance of 27 of 30 EPAs similarly. Residents felt that 10 EPAs could be met at least 1 year earlier than educators had specified.

Conclusions: Internal medicine educators had a stable opinion of EPAs developed through this study, and residents generally agreed. Using this approach, programs could identify EPAs for resident evaluation, building on the initial list created via our study.