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Acad Emerg Med. 2013 Jul;20(7):736-9. doi: 10.1111/acem.12162.

How competent are emergency medicine interns for level 1 milestones: who is responsible?

Author information

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. ssanten@umich.edu



The Next Accreditation System (NAS) of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) includes the implementation of developmental milestones for each specialty. The milestones include five progressively advancing skill levels, with Level 1 defining the skill level of a medical student graduate, and Level 5, that of an attending physician. The goal of this study was to query interns on how well they thought their medical school had prepared them to meet the proposed emergency medicine (EM) Level 1 milestones.


In July 2012, an electronic survey was distributed to the interns of 13 EM residency programs, asking interns whether they were taught and assessed on the proposed Level 1 milestones.


Of possible participants, 113 of 161 interns responded (70% response rate). The interns represented all four regions of the country. The interns responded that the rates of Level 1 milestones they had been taught ranged from 61% for ultrasound to 98% for performance of focused history and physical examination. A substantial number of interns (up to 39%) reported no instruction on milestones such as patient disposition, pain management, and vascular access. Graduating medical students were less commonly assessed than taught the milestones. Skills with technology, including "explain the role of the electronic health record and computerized physician order entry," were assessed for only 39% of interns, and knowledge (USMLE) and history and physical were assessed in nearly all interns. Disposition, ultrasound, multitasking, and wound management were assessed less than half of the time.


Many entering EM interns may not have had either teaching or assessment on the knowledge, skills, and behaviors making up the Level 1 milestones expected for graduating medical students. Thus, there is a potential gap in the teaching and assessment of EM interns. Based on these findings, it is unclear who will be responsible (medical schools, EM clerkships, or residency programs) for ensuring that medical students entering residency have achieved Level 1 milestones.

© 2013 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

Comment in

  • Milestones: quo vadis? [Acad Emerg Med. 2013]
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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