As the next step in competency-based medical education, the Pediatrics Milestone Project seeks to provide a learner-centered approach to training and assessment. To help accomplish this goal, this study sought to determine how pediatric residents understand, interpret, and respond to the Pediatrics Milestones.
Cognitive interviews with 48 pediatric residents from all training levels at 2 training programs were conducted. Each participant reviewed one Pediatrics Milestone document (PMD). Eight total Pediatrics Milestones, chosen for their range of complexity, length, competency domain, and primary author, were included in this study. Six residents, 2 from each year of residency training, reviewed each PMD. Interviews were transcribed and coded using inductive methods, and codes were grouped into themes that emerged.
Four major themes emerged through coding and analysis: 1) the participants' degree of understanding of the PMDs is sufficient, often deep; 2) the etiology of participants' understanding is rooted in their experiences; 3) there are qualities of the PMD that may contribute to or detract from understanding; and 4) participants apply their understanding by noting the PMD describes a developmental progression that can provide a road map for learning. Additionally, we learned that residents are generally comfortable being placed in the middle of a series of developmental milestones. Two minor themes focusing on interest and practicality were also identified.
This study provides initial evidence for the Pediatrics Milestones as learner-centered documents that can be used for orientation, education, formative feedback, and, ultimately, assessment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Outcome Project introduced 6 general competencies relevant to medical practice but fell short of its goal to create a robust assessment system that would allow program accreditation based on outcomes. In response, the ACGME, the specialty boards, and other stakeholders collaborated to develop educational milestones, observable steps in residents' professional development that describe progress from entry to graduation and beyond.
We summarize the development of the milestones, focusing on 7 specialties, moving to the next accreditation system in July 2013, and offer evidence of their validity.
Specialty workgroups with broad representation used a 5-level developmental framework and incorporated information from literature reviews, specialty curricula, dialogue with constituents, and pilot testing.
The workgroups produced richly diverse sets of milestones that reflect the community's consideration of attributes of competence relevant to practice in the given specialty. Both their development process and the milestones themselves establish a validity argument, when contemporary views of validity for complex performance assessment are used.
Initial evidence for validity emerges from the development processes and the resulting milestones. Further advancing a validity argument will require research on the use of milestone data in resident assessment and program accreditation.
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