Creating objective and measurable postgraduate year 1 residency graduation requirements

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Abstract

Purpose

The process of developing objective and measurable postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) residency graduation requirements and a progress tracking system is described.

Summary

The PGY1 residency accreditation standard requires that programs establish criteria that must be met by residents for successful completion of the program (i.e., graduation requirements), which should presumably be aligned with helping residents to achieve the purpose of residency training. In addition, programs must track a resident's progress toward fulfillment of residency goals and objectives. Defining graduation requirements and establishing the process for tracking residents' progress are left up to the discretion of the residency program. To help standardize resident performance assessments, leaders of an academic medical center–based PGY1 residency program developed graduation requirement criteria that are objective, measurable, and linked back to residency goals and objectives. A system for tracking resident progress relative to quarterly progress targets was instituted. Leaders also developed a focused, on-the-spot skills assessment termed “the Thunderdome,” which was designed for objective evaluation of direct patient care skills. Quarterly data on residents' progress are used to update and customize each resident's training plan. Implementation of this system allowed seamless linkage of the training plan, the progress tracking system, and the specified graduation requirement criteria.

Conclusion

PGY1 residency requirements that are objective, that are measurable, and that attempt to identify what skills the resident must demonstrate in order to graduate from the program were developed for use in our residency program. A system for tracking the residents' progress by comparing residents' performance to predetermined quarterly benchmarks was developed.

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