Is It Time for Entrustable Professional Activities for Residency Program Directors?

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Residency program directors (PDs) play an important role in establishing and leading high-quality graduate medical education programs. However, medical educators have failed to codify the position on a national level, and PDs are often not recognized for the significant role they play. The authors of this Commentary argue that the core entrustable professional activities (EPAs) framework may be a mechanism to further this work and define the roles and responsibilities of the PD position. Based on personal observations as PDs and communications with others in the academic medicine community, the authors used work in competency-based medical education to define a list of potential EPAs for PDs. The benefits of developing these EPAs include being able to define competencies for PDs using a deconstructive process, highlighting the increasingly important role PDs play in leading high-quality graduate medical education programs, using EPAs as a framework to assess PD performance and provide feedback, allowing PDs to focus their professional development efforts on the most important areas for their work, and helping guide the PD recruitment and selection processes.

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