Development of entrustable professional activities for regional anesthesia and pain medicine fellowship training

Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2022 Jul 25:rapm-2022-103854. doi: 10.1136/rapm-2022-103854. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) offers descriptions of competencies and milestones but does not provide standardized assessments to track trainee competency. Entrustable professional activities (EPAs) and special assessments (SAs) are emerging methods to assess the level of competency obtained by regional anesthesiology and acute pain medicine (RAAPM) fellows.

Methods: A panel of RAAPM physicians with experience in education and competency assessment and one medical student were recruited to participate in a modified Delphi method with iterative rounds to reach consensus on: a list of EPAs, SAs, and procedural skills; detailed definitions for each EPA and SA; a mapping of the EPAs and SAs to the ACGME milestones; and a target level of entrustment for graduating US RAAPM fellows for each EPA and procedural skill. A gap analysis was performed and a heat map was created to cross-check the EPAs and SAs to the ACGME milestones.

Results: Participants in EPA and SA development included 19 physicians and 1 medical student from 18 different programs. The Delphi rounds yielded a final list of 23 EPAs, a defined entrustment scale, mapping of the EPAs to ACGME milestones, and graduation targets. A list of 73 procedural skills and 7 SAs were similarly developed.

Discussion: A list of 23 RAAPM EPAs, 73 procedural skills, and 7 SAs were created using a rigorous methodology to reach consensus. This framework can be utilized to help assess RAAPM fellows in the USA for competency and allow for meaningful performance feedback.

Keywords: acute pain; education; regional anesthesia.