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Discernment, or awareness of one’s limitations, is one of the qualities fundamental to entrustment (ten Cate et al., 2015). The AAMC Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) pilot project lists discernment as an expectation of medical students entering residency (AAMC, 2014).
Our institution, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine (VCU SOM), was selected to participate in the EPA pilot. Prior to implementing a pilot curriculum on discernment, our institution gathered data on the current practice of discernment among our pre-clinical medical students.
The Practice of Clinical Medicine (PCM) at VCU SOM is a pre-clinical longitudinal course which teaches the core skills of doctoring. Students are assessed on their ability to integrate these skills at the end of each semester with an Objective Structure Clinical Exam (OSCE). Starting with the Class of 2020, a question assessing discernment was incorporated into each OSCE.
1. Association of American Medical Colleges, AAMC Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency Drafting Panel. (2014). Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency. Retrieved from https://members.aamc.org/eweb/upload/Core%20EPA%20Curriculum%20Dev%20Guide.pdf
2. ten Cate, O., Chen, H., Hoff, R., Peters, H., Bok, H., & van der Schaaf. (2015). Curriculum development for the workplace using Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs): AMEE Guide No. 99. Medical Teacher, 37, 983-1002.
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