An increasing number of students rank Emergency Medicine (EM) as a top specialty choice, requiring medical schools to provide adequate exposure to EM. The Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for Entering Residency by the Association of American Medical Colleges combined with the Milestone Project for EM residency training has attempted to standardize the undergraduate and graduate medical education goals. However, it remains unclear as to how the EPAs correlate to the milestones, and who owns the process of ensuring that an entering EM resident has competency at a certain minimum level. Recent trends establishing specialty-specific boot camps prepare students for residency and address the variability of skills of students coming from different medical schools.
Our project’s goal was therefore to perform a needs assessment to inform the design of an EM boot camp curriculum. Toward this goal, we 1) mapped the core EPAs for graduating medical students to the EM residency Level 1 milestones in order to identify the possible gaps/needs and 2) conducted a pilot procedure workshop that was designed to address some of the identified gaps/needs in procedural skills.
In order to inform the curriculum of an EM boot camp, we used a systematic approach to 1) identify gaps between the EPAs and EM milestones (Level 1) and 2) determine what essential and supplemental competencies/skills an incoming EM resident should ideally possess. We then piloted a 1-day, three-station advanced ABCs procedure workshop based on the identified needs. A pre-workshop test and survey assessed knowledge, preparedness, confidence, and perceived competence. A post-workshop survey evaluated the program, and a posttest combined with psychomotor skills test using three simulation cases assessed students’ skills.
Students (n=9) reported increased confidence in the following procedures: intubation (1.5–2.1), thoracostomy (1.1–1.9), and central venous catheterization (1.3–2) (a three-point Likert-type scale, with 1= not yet confident/able to perform with supervision to 3= confident/able to perform without supervision). Psychomotor skills testing showed on average, 26% of students required verbal prompting with performance errors, 48% with minor performance errors, and 26% worked independently without performance errors. All participants reported: 1) increased knowledge and confidence in covered topics and 2) overall satisfaction with simulation experience.
Mapping the Core EPAs for Entering Residency to the EM milestones at Level 1 identifies educational gaps for graduating medical students seeking a career in EM. Educators designing EM boot camps for medical students should consider these identified gaps, procedures, and clinical conditions during the development of a core standardized curriculum.