Validity Evidence From Ratings of Pediatric Interns and Subinterns on a Subset of Pediatric Milestones

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To investigate evidence for validity of faculty members’ pediatric milestone (PM) ratings of interns (first-year residents) and subinterns (fourth-year medical students) on nine subcompetencies related to readiness to serve as a pediatric intern in the inpatient setting.


The Association of Pediatric Program Directors Longitudinal Educational Assessment Research Network (APPD LEARN) and the National Board of Medical Examiners collaborated to investigate the utility of assessments of the PMs for trainees’ performance. Data from 32 subinterns and 179 interns at 17 programs were collected from July 2012 through April 2013. Observers used several tools to assess learners. At each site, a faculty member used these data to make judgments about the learner’s current developmental milestone in each subcompetency. Linear mixed models were fitted to milestone judgments to examine their relationship with learner’s rank and subcompetency.


On a 5-point developmental scale, mean milestone levels for interns ranged from 3.20 (for the subcompetency Work effectively as a member of a team) to 3.72 (Humanism) and for subinterns from 2.89 (Organize and prioritize care) to 3.61 (Professionalization). Mean milestone ratings were significantly higher for the Professionalism competency (3.59–3.72) for all trainees compared with Patient Care (2.89–3.24) and Personal and Professional Development (3.33–3.51). Mean intern ratings were significantly higher than mean subintern ratings for all nine subcompetencies except Professionalization, Humanism, and Trustworthiness.


The PMs had a coherent internal structure and could distinguish between differing levels of trainees, which supports their validation for documenting developmental progression of pediatric trainees.

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