Entrustable professional activities in family medicine

J Grad Med Educ. 2013 Mar;5(1):112-8. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-12-00034.1.


Background: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Outcome Project intended to move residency education toward assessing and documenting resident competence in 6 dimensions of performance important to the practice of medicine. Although the project defined a set of general attributes of a good physician, it did not define the actual activities that a competent physician performs in practice in the given specialty. These descriptions have been called entrustable professional activities (EPAs).

Objective: We sought to develop a list of EPAs for ambulatory practice in family medicine to guide curriculum development and resident assessment.

Methods: We developed an initial list of EPAs over the course of 3 years, and we refined it further by obtaining the opinion of experts using a Delphi Process. The experts participating in this study were recruited from 2 groups of family medicine leaders: organizers and participants in the Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice initiative, and members of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Task Force on Competency Assessment. The experts participated in 2 rounds of anonymous, Internet-based surveys.

Results: A total of 22 experts participated, and 21 experts participated in both rounds of the Delphi Process. The Delphi Process reduced the number of competency areas from 91 to 76 areas, with 3 additional competency areas added in round 1.

Conclusions: This list of EPAs developed through our Delphi process can be used as a starting point for family medicine residency programs interested in moving toward a competency-based approach to resident education and assessment.