Evaluating Medical Education Confidence in Residents

Group of medical residents speaking with physican in office space

A team of researchers from the Georgetown University School of Medicine and MedStar Health Research Institute recently evaluated the confidence of residents in terms of milestone training. “Procedural Skills of the Entrustable Professional Activities: Are Graduating U.S. Medical Students Prepared to Perform Procedures in Residency?” was published in the Journal of Surgical Education. The authors were Adrienne N. Bruce, MD, Department of Student Research, Georgetown University School of Medicine; Anagha Kumar, MA, MS, Department of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics, MedStar Health Research Institute; and Sonya Malekzadeh, MD, Department of Otolaryngology, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and a graduate of the MedStar Teaching Scholars Program.

This research was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of competency-based medical education. Competency-based medical education has been instituted in graduate medical education through the development of Milestones. A Milestone is a behavioral descriptor that marks a level of performance for a given competency. These markers are used to better define requirements at key transition points in the growth of physicians throughout their education career, as defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Evaluating members of the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital resident class through an electronic survey, the researchers sought to identify the residents’ confidence in their procedural skills training during medical school and to assess their learning experiences. The responses were compared to examine whether there was a link between respondent confidence and the presence of formal evaluation.

The results showed that most respondents identified that cardiopulmonary resuscitation, bag/mask ventilation, and universal precautions were evaluated by and important to their medical school. Results from biostatistical analysis established a significant effect between confidence and evaluation of universal precaution skills. This result suggested a correlation between the formal evaluation of procedural skills and increased confidence of the learner.

Journal of Surgical Education, 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.01.002