Today and yesterday, second-year Emergency Medicine residents from six Chicago programs were evaluated on skills through a novel simulation-based assessment. The evaluation tests residents on critical milestones in their training and is based on new accreditation standards for emergency medicine residencies.
Leading the collaborative effort, David Salzman, MD’05, GME’09, MEd, assistant professor in Emergency Medicine, met with simulation experts from the different programs to develop cases and scenarios. Residents are tested during the halfway point of their training to give them an opportunity to learn what skills they are proficient in and others that still need work.
“The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education developed a new assessment method in which we need to track the progress of residents across predetermined milestones,” said Michael Gisondi, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, residency program director and associate professor in Emergency Medicine. “There aren’t great assessment tools provided to help us, so this project provides validation and a dependable assessment of core skills for emergency medicine.”
The group identified nine milestones to test from the 23 required by accreditation standards and spent the past several months creating cases and tools to build a program. Residents will travel to different training sites to be tested by faculty from other schools. At the end of the assessment, program directors will receive a summary of each resident’s performance.
“By involving faculty from other programs, we hope to provide a less-biased assessment of the residents,” Salzman explained. “We work with our residents all the time and we develop biases. After teaching our own residents during the past 18 months of their training, we have developed opinions of which residents we feel are meeting expectations and which need improvement, so I think getting external feedback and an unbiased opinion is really useful.”
The assessments are designed to cover a spectrum of milestones, including emergency stabilization and general procedures.
“Doing assessments through simulation is a great way to test us because it is as close to real life as you get,” said Jordan Kaylor, MD, a second-year resident. “I picked up little pointers in every case I participated in that I won’t forget in the future.”
Going forward, Salzman hopes that other departments and cities might develop similar models to test their residents.
“The big picture is being able to leverage the education and simulation expertise to develop assessments that other emergency departments can benefit from,” Salzman said. “Additionally, this is a model that can be adopted in a similar fashion by other residency programs looking to use simulation as a mechanism to assess their residents on their progression through the milestones.”