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J Emerg Med. 2016 Oct;51(4):426-431. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2016.06.014. Epub 2016 Jul 26.

Using Milestones as Evaluation Metrics During an Emergency Medicine Clerkship.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Lehigh Valley Health Network/University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Allentown, Pennsylvania.



The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's (ACGME) Milestones presumes graduating medical students will enter residency proficient at Milestone level 1 for 23 skills. The Next Accreditation System now includes Milestones for each postgraduate specialty, and it is unlikely that schools will document every emergency medicine (EM) applicant's EM-specific skills in their performance evaluation.


The goals of this research were to determine if assessment of the Milestones was feasible during a medical student clerkship and examine the proportion of medical students performing at Milestone level 1.


This study was conducted at a center with Liaison Committee on Medical Education-approved medical training and a 4-year EM residency. Using traditional clerkship, we studied the feasibility of an ACGME EM Milestones-based clerkship assessment. Data led to redesign of the clerkship and its evaluation process, including all level 1 anchor(s) to add "occasionally" (>60%), "usually" (>80%), and "always" (100%) on a Likert scale to on-shift assessment forms.


During the feasibility phase (2013-14), 75 students rotated though the clerkship; 55 evaluations were issued and 50 contained the Milestone summary. Eight deficiencies were noted in Milestone 12 and three in Milestone 14. After changes, 49 students rotated under the new evaluation rubric. Of 575 completed on-shift evaluations, 16 Milestone deficiencies were noted. Of 41 institutional evaluations issued, only one student had deficiencies noted, all of which pertained to patient care. All evaluations in this second cohort contained each student's Milestone proficiency.


Assessment of the Milestones is feasible. Communication of ACGME EM Milestone proficiency may identify students who require early observation or remediation. The majority of students meet the anchors for the Milestones, suggesting that clerkship assessment with the ACGME EM Milestones does not adequately differentiate students.


clerkship evaluation; curricular innovations; milestones

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