Miller's Pyramid and Core Competency Assessment: A Study in Relationship Construct Validity

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Abstract

Introduction:

Continuous professional development relies on the link between performance and an educational process aimed at improving knowledge and skill. One of the most broadly used frameworks for assessing skills is Miller's Pyramid. This Pyramid has a series of levels of achievement beginning with knowledge (at the base) and ending with routine application in the clinical setting.

Methods:

The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of convergence of two measurement methods, one based on Miller's framework, the second using the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education/American Board of Medical Specialties (ACGME/ABMS) Core Competency framework. The data were gathered from the faculty of a large, Midwestern regional health care provider and hospital system. Data from 264 respondents were studied. The 360° data were from raters of physicians holding supervisory roles in the organization. The scale items were taken from an instrument that has been validated for both structure and known group prediction.

Results:

The Miller scale was purposely built for this application. The questions were designed to describe each level of the model. The Miller scale was reduced to a single dimension. This result was then regressed on the items from the 360° item ratings. Results of a multivariate analysis of variance isolated a significant relationship between the Miller's Pyramid score and the competency items (P < 0.001).

Discussion:

These findings demonstrate a relationship between measures based on Miller's framework and behavioral measures based on the ABMS/ACGME core competencies. Equally important is the finding that while they are related they are not identical. These findings have implications for continuous professional development programing design.

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