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Acad Emerg Med. 2002 Nov;9(11):1338-41.

Direct observation for assessing emergency medicine core competencies: interpersonal skills.

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Departments of Emergency Medicine, MetroHealth Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and the Department of Surgery, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA.


The American Board of Medical Specialties described six core competencies considered essential elements of medical practice: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice. In response, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) mandated that all residency programs assess trainees for the newly defined core competencies. Despite the mandate for including these six competencies in residency training, neither a specific curriculum nor a method to assess the outlined objectives has been developed by the ACGME. Instead, it is up to individual residency programs to document how they plan to incorporate and assess the core competencies in their programs. This article describes the potential use of direct observation to assess resident performance in the interpersonal skills core competency.

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