Building a Framework of Entrustable Professional Activities, Supported by Competencies and Milestones, to Bridge the Educational Continuum

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Abstract

The transition to competency-based medical education (CBME) and adoption of the foundational domains of competence by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and American Board of Medical Specialties’ certification and maintenance of certification (MOC) programs provided an unprecedented opportunity for the pediatrics community to create a model of learning and assessment across the continuum. Two frameworks for assessment in CBME have been promoted: (1) entrustable professional activities (EPAs) and (2) milestones that define a developmental trajectory for individual competencies. EPAs are observable and measureable units of work that can be mapped to competencies and milestones critical to performing them safely and effectively.

The pediatrics community integrated the two frameworks to create a potential pathway of learning and assessment across the continuum from undergraduate medical education (UME) to graduate medical education (GME) and from GME to practice. The authors briefly describe the evolution of the Pediatrics Milestone Project and the process for identifying EPAs for the specialty and subspecialties of pediatrics. The method of integrating EPAs with competencies and milestones through a mapping process is discussed, and an example is provided. The authors illustrate the alignment of the AAMC’s Core EPAs for Entering Residency with the general pediatrics EPAs and, in turn, the alignment of the latter with the subspecialty EPAs, thus helping build the bridge between UME and GME. The authors propose how assessment in GME, based on EPAs and milestones, can guide MOC to complete the bridge across the education continuum.

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