Assessing the Core ACGME Competencies

The links below suggest exemplary approaches taken by several graduate medical programs. Best practice in assessment suggests a multi-level systems approach: computer-based Mastery Testing for medical knowledge ("know about"); logs and portfolios to credit broader learning via the Internet ("know more "); exhibitions and performances, both simulated and real (for "know how"); self-assessment ("know thyself"); and summative evaluation using all sources, by the medical faculty ("let the world know").

Computerized database tracking systems, such as Comp-E-Val or Precept-Assist, allow assessment data to be stored and accessed by both the resident and faculty, and can personalize further work.

Another paradigm, particularly useful in self-monitoring, is called "KWHL," or


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  1. Key Considerations for Selecting Assessment Instruments and Implementing Assessment Systems
  2. Five Environmental Trends and Fourteen Innovations in Medical Education -- Well documented review of current Medical Education initiatives that puts assessment in the larger context of learning, faculty development, and improved patient care.
  3. Toolbox of Assessment Methods -- "A brief description of 13 assessment methods and references to articles where more complete and in-depth information about each method," from The ACGME and the American Board of Medical Specialties
  4. Table of Toolbox Methods -- Suggestions of which tools to use and when
  5. Assessment Tools -- ACGME links to excellent variety of tools for each Core Competency
  6. Changes in Medical Education -- Power Point overview from the University of Washington's Medical School
  7. Resident Evaluation Rubric -- from Michigan State's Medical School, focuses on stong and weak indicators of each of the six core competencies
  8. Tufts Curriculum Framework -- Excellent model of charting competencies and means/resources used in their development
  9. Evaluating Your Residents: New Competencies, New Forms -- Very useful discussion and 9 point-rating scale forms in this 32 page document from the University of Arizona (focus: Internal Medicine)
  10. Online Evaluation in Radiology Residency Programs -- Significant gains in reliability and efficiency through conducting assessments online
  11. ACGME Core Competencies As They Relate To The University of Colorado Clinical Science Program Courses -- Good, concise chart
  12. Evaluation -- Types of evaluation outlined
  13. Qualitative Analysis -- "Qualitative research is a powerful tool enabling researchers to explore people's motivations, behavior, desires, and needs."
  14. American Board of Podiatric Surgery -- Good breakdown of competencies into sub-features to make evaluation easier
  15. Assessment -- Key considerations and tools from the ACGME Outcomes Project
  16. RSVP... Recognize Success Via imPlementation -- Examples of activities that may be used to teach and assess the general competencies
  17. Graduate Medical Education Assessment Conference Abstracts


    Copyright 2003-2006

    I am available as a consultant on meeting ACGME Standards and preparing for accreditation visits.


    Chad C. Osborne, EdD
    ozpk100@aol.com