Programmatic assessment of level 1 milestones in incoming interns

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Academic Emergency Medicine








Objectives With the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Next Accreditation System, emergency medicine (EM) residency programs will be required to report residents' progress through the EM milestones. The milestones include five progressively advancing skill levels, with Level 1 defining the skill set of a medical school graduate and Level 5, that of an attending physician. The ACGME stresses that multiple forms of assessment should be used to ensure capture of the multifaceted competencies. The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility and results of programmatic assessment of Level 1 milestones using multisource assessments for incoming EM interns in July. Methods The study population was interns starting in 2012 and 2013. Interns' Level 1 milestone assessment was done with four distinct methods: 1) the postgraduate orientation assessment (POA) by the Graduate Medical Education Office for all incoming interns (this multistation examination covers nine of the EM milestones and includes standardized patient cases, task completion, and computer-based stations); 2) direct observation of patient encounters by core faculty using a milestones-based clinical skills competency checklist; 3) the global monthly assessment at the end of the intern orientation month that was updated to reflect the EM milestones; and 4) faculty assessment during procedural labs. These occurred during the July orientation month that included the POA, clinical shifts, didactic sessions, and procedure labs. Results In the POA, interns were competent in 48% to 93% of the milestones assessed. Overall, competency was 70% to 80%, with low scores noted in aseptic technique (patient care Milestone 13 [PC13]) and written and verbal hand-off (interpersonal communications skills [ICS]2). In overall communication, 70% of interns demonstrated competency. In excess of 80% demonstrated competency in critical values interpretation (PC3), informed consent (PC9), pain assessment (PC11), and geriatric functional assessment (PC3). On direct observation, almost all Level 1 milestones were achieved (93% to 100%); however, only 78% of interns achieved competency in pharmacotherapy (PC5). On global monthly evaluations, all interns met Level 1 milestones. Conclusions A multisource assessment of EM milestones is feasible and useful to determine Level 1 milestones achievement for incoming interns. A structured assessment program, used in conjunction with more traditional forms of evaluation such as global monthly evaluations and direct observation, is useful for identifying deficits in new trainees and may be able inform the creation of early intervention programs. © 2014 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.