Finding a Path to Entrustment in Undergraduate Medical Education: A Progress Report From the AAMC Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency Entrustment Concept Group

Acad Med. 2017 Jun;92(6):774-779. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001544.


Problem: To better prepare graduating medical students to transition to the professional responsibilities of residency, 10 medical schools are participating in an Association of American Medical Colleges pilot to evaluate the feasibility of explicitly teaching and assessing 13 Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency. The authors focused on operationalizing the concept of entrustment as part of this process.

Approach: Starting in 2014, the Entrustment Concept Group, with representatives from each of the pilot schools, guided the development of the structures and processes necessary for formal entrustment decisions associated with students' increased responsibilities at the start of residency.

Outcomes: Guiding principles developed by the group recommend that formal, summative entrustment decisions in undergraduate medical education be made by a trained group, be based on longitudinal performance assessments from multiple assessors, and incorporate day-to-day entrustment judgments by workplace supervisors. Key to entrustment decisions is evidence that students know their limits (discernment), can be relied on to follow through (conscientiousness), and are forthcoming despite potential personal costs (truthfulness), in addition to having the requisite knowledge and skills. The group constructed a developmental framework for discernment, conscientiousness, and truthfulness to pilot a model for transparent entrustment decision making.

Next steps: The pilot schools are studying a number of questions regarding the pathways to and decisions about entrustment. This work seeks to inform meaningful culture change in undergraduate medical education through a shared understanding of the assessment of trust and a shared trust in that assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / organization & administration*
  • Educational Measurement / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Professional Competence / standards*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Societies, Medical / standards*
  • United States
  • Young Adult