Education| Volume 47, ISSUE 4, P432-440, October 2014

Practicing Emergency Physicians Report Performing Well on Most Emergency Medicine Milestones



      The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's Next Accreditation System endorsed specialty-specific milestones as the foundation of an outcomes-based resident evaluation process. These milestones represent five competency levels (entry level to expert), and graduating residents will be expected to meet Level 4 on all 23 milestones. Limited validation data on these milestones exist. It is unclear if higher levels represent true competencies of practicing emergency medicine (EM) attendings.


      Our aim was to examine how practicing EM attendings in academic and community settings self-evaluate on the new EM milestones.


      An electronic self-evaluation survey outlining 9 of the 23 EM milestones was sent to a sample of practicing EM attendings in academic and community settings. Attendings were asked to identify which level was appropriate for them.


      Seventy-nine attendings were surveyed, with an 89% response rate. Sixty-one percent were academic. Twenty-three percent (95% confidence interval [CI] 20%−27%) of all responses were Levels 1, 2, or 3; 38% (95% CI 34%−42%) were Level 4; and 39% (95% CI 35%−43%) were Level 5. Seventy-seven percent of attendings found themselves to be Level 4 or 5 in eight of nine milestones. Only 47% found themselves to be Level 4 or 5 in ultrasound skills (p = 0.0001).


      Although a majority of EM attendings reported meeting Level 4 milestones, many felt they did not meet Level 4 criteria. Attendings report less perceived competence in ultrasound skills than other milestones. It is unclear if self-assessments reflect the true competency of practicing attendings. The study design can be useful to define the accuracy, precision, and validity of milestones for any medical field.


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