Background: Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) have been defined to specify the performance expectations for entering residents worldwide. The content of these EPAs was elaborated and validated primarily via medical expert consent approaches. The present study aims to collect empirical information on the actual task performance and supervision level of entering residents as a complementary methodological approach to enhance the content validity of a set of institutional EPAs.
Methods: In the summers of 2017 and 2018, Charité medical graduates (n = 720) received a post-graduation survey by mail. The questionnaire covered the performance of Core EPAs, Core procedures and more advanced EPAs. Graduates were asked how frequently they had performed the respective EPAs since the start of residency and under what level of supervision. We expected the large majority of graduates (> 75%) to have performed the Core EPAs and procedures under at least indirect supervision.
Results: In total, 215 graduates (30%) returned the questionnaire, and 131 (18%) surveys could be included in the data analysis. The majority of participants were female (63%) and worked in hospitals (50%) or in university medical centres (30%) across various medical disciplines. Among the Core EPAs, 10 out of 11 tasks had been performed by more than 75% of graduates since the start of residency, 9 under indirect supervision. Regarding the Core procedures, only 3 out of 13 procedures had been performed by the large majority of graduates under indirect supervision, and 10 procedures had not been carried out by at least one-third of participants. Among the 5 advanced EPAs, none of 5 had been performed by more than 75% of the participants since the start of residency, and 4 had been carried out by 50% under indirect supervision.
Conclusions: The results of this study largely and complementarily confirm the validity of the defined Core EPAs representing realistic expectations for entry into residence at our institution. The low actual performance rate of Core procedures serves to stimulate an institutional discussion on their adjustment to better match the workplace reality.