Educational priorities of students in the entrustable professional activity era

Clin Teach. 2018 Aug;15(4):319-324. doi: 10.1111/tct.12688. Epub 2017 Aug 30.


Background: The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) guidelines on the entrustable professional activities (EPAs) expected of graduating medical students were recently published. Although perceptions of educators, residents and programme directors have been described, the voice of senior medical students is lacking.

Methods: A single-institution cross-sectional study of senior medical students was performed. Student perceptions were collected and compared with: (1) national guidelines (i.e. the 13 newly developed undergraduate EPAs); (2) resident expectations (i.e. through comparison with a recently published survey from >28 000 residents); and (3) institutional objectives. Descriptive statistics were performed.

Results: A total of 113 students participated. The top three EPA-based educational priorities were 'recognising a patient requiring urgent/emergent care' (EPA10), 'performing procedures of a physician' (EPA12) and 'collaborating as an interprofessional' (EPA9). Over 80 per cent of students rated 'managing time efficiently' and 'communicating around care transitions' as very important pre-internship skills. Of the institutional objectives, 87 per cent rated 'recognising critically ill patients' and 'knowing when to ask for help' as the most important pre-internship skills. The voice of senior medical students is lacking CONCLUSIONS: Although the emphasis on knowing when to ask for help and communication around care transitions differed somewhat across stakeholders, educational priorities were shared by students, residents, educators and institutional objectives. These preliminary data support national assessments of perceptions and achievements of senior medical students to guide residency readiness in the EPA era.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Faculty, Medical / psychology*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Male
  • Patient Handoff / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Time Management