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Defining the scope of skills for family medicine residencies
Date:4/9/2013

certain set of skills, behaviors, and attitudes in addition to the clinical knowledge needed to practice medicine. When these skills, behaviors, and attitudes are integrated and performed in an educational setting, they become known as entrustable professional activities. An activity is "entrustable" when a supervisor deems that a medical resident could have performed a task without supervision; in this case, the resident has demonstrated competency in a given area. As an example, the authors write:

"For example, a competent family medicine physician is expected to provide care for a child with a respiratory illness. This includes eliciting a history, performing a physical examination, arriving at a diagnosis, and implementing a plan of care that is evidence based and takes into account the needs and values of the patient. Although each of these skills can be separately measured and documented in a variety of settings, the overall performance of them in situ constitutes the entrustable activity."

In addition to confirming that family medicine residents know how to treat a specific disease or condition, the EPAs can ensure that residents acquire skills that enable them to effectively interact with medically-diverse patients, uphold ethical principles, use information sources at the point of care, and develop skills relating to running a medical practice.

The leading effort to define competencies is the Outcome Project, from the Accreditation on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Medical Specialties. The Outcome Project is shifting medical education from assuring quality through intense training processes to measuring outcomes and specific skill. This shift in medical training was the result of calls for greater accountability in all aspects of the profession.

Shaughnessy notes that the Outcome Project leaves the definition of actual competencies and their assessment to individual residencies. Interpreta
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Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
siobhan.gallagher@tufts.edu
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus
Source:Eurekalert

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