Raising the bar for the care of seriously ill patients: results of a national survey to define essential palliative care competencies for medical students and residents.
ABSTRACT: Given the shortage of palliative care specialists in the United States, to ensure quality of care for patients with serious, life-threatening illness, generalist-level palliative care competencies need to be defined and taught. The purpose of this study was to define essential competencies for medical students and internal medicine and family medicine (IM/FM) residents through a national survey of palliative care experts.Proposed competencies were derived from existing hospice and palliative medicine fellowship competencies and revised to be developmentally appropriate for students and residents. In spring 2012, the authors administered a Web-based, national cross-sectional survey of palliative care educational experts to assess ratings and rankings of proposed competencies and competency domains.The authors identified 18 comprehensive palliative care competencies for medical students and IM/FM residents, respectively. Over 95% of survey respondents judged the competencies as comprehensive and developmentally appropriate (survey response rate = 72%, 71/98). Using predefined cutoff criteria, experts identified 7 medical student and 13 IM/FM resident competencies as essential. Communication and pain/symptom management were rated as the most critical domains.This national survey of palliative care experts defines comprehensive and essential palliative care competencies for medical students and IM/FM residents that are specific, measurable, and can be used to report educational outcomes; provide a sequence for palliative care curricula in undergraduate and graduate medical education; and highlight the importance of educating medical trainees in communication and pain management. Next steps include seeking input and endorsement from stakeholders in the broader medical education community.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Physician workforce projections by the Institute of Medicine require enhanced training in geriatrics for all primary care and subspecialty physicians. Defining essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residents would improve training for primary care and subspecialty physicians. The objectives of this study were to (1) define essential geriatrics competencies common to internal medicine and family medicine residents that build on established national geriatrics competencies for medical students, are feasible within current residency programs, are assessable, and address the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies; and (2) involve key stakeholder organizations in their development and implementation. METHODS: Initial candidate competencies were defined through small group meetings and a survey of more than 100 experts, followed by detailed item review by 26 program directors and residency clinical educators from key professional organizations. Throughout, an 8-member working group made revisions to maintain consistency and compatibility among the competencies. Support and participation by key stakeholder organizations were secured throughout the project. RESULTS: The process identified 26 competencies in 7 domains: Medication Management; Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health; Complex or Chronic Illness(es) in Older Adults; Palliative and End-of-Life Care; Hospital Patient Safety; Transitions of Care; and Ambulatory Care. The competencies map directly onto the medical student geriatric competencies and the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Competencies. CONCLUSIONS: Through a consensus-building process that included leadership and members of key stakeholder organizations, a concise set of essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residencies has been developed. These competencies are well aligned with concerns for residency training raised in a recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report to Congress. Work is underway through stakeholder organizations to disseminate and assess the competencies among internal medicine and family medicine residency programs.
Project description:Prior reviews of geriatrics curricula for internal medicine (IM) and family medicine (FM) residents have not evaluated study quality or assessed learning objectives or specific IM or FM competencies.This review of geriatrics curricula for IM and FM residents seeks to answer 3 questions: (1) What types of learning outcomes were measured? (2) How were learning outcomes measured? and (3) What was the quality of the studies?We evaluated geriatrics curricula that reported learning objectives or competencies, teaching methods, and learning outcomes, and those that used a comparative design. We searched PubMed and 4 other data sets from 2003-2015, and assessed learning outcomes, outcome measures, and the quality of studies using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI) and Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) methods.Fourteen studies met inclusion criteria. Most curricula were intended for IM residents in the inpatient setting; only 1 was solely dedicated to FM residents. Median duration was 1 month, and minimum geriatrics competencies covered were 4. Learning outcomes ranged from Kirkpatrick levels 1 to 3. Studies that reported effect size showed a considerable impact on attitudes and knowledge, mainly via pretests and posttests. The mean MERSQI score was 10.5 (range, 8.5-13) on a scale of 5 (lowest quality) to 18 (highest quality).Few geriatrics curricula for IM and FM residents that included learning outcome assessments were published recently. Overall, changes in attitudes and knowledge were sizeable, but reporting was limited to low to moderate Kirkpatrick levels. Study quality was moderate.
Project description:As nearly all doctors deal with patients requiring palliative care, it is imperative that palliative care education starts early. This study aimed to validate a national, palliative care competency framework for undergraduate medical curricula. We conducted a Delphi study with five groups of stakeholders (palliative care experts, physicians, nurses, curriculum coordinators, and junior doctors), inviting them to rate a competency list. The list was organized around six key competencies. For each competency, participants indicated the level to which students should have mastered the skill at the end of undergraduate training. Stability was reached after two rating rounds (N = 82 round 1, N = 54 round 2). The results showed high levels of agreement within and between stakeholder groups. Participants agreed that theoretical knowledge is not enough: Students must practice palliative care competencies, albeit to varying degrees. Overall, communication and personal development and well-being scored the highest: Junior doctors should be able to perform these in the workplace under close supervision. Advance care planning scored the lowest, indicating performance in a simulated setting. A wide range of stakeholders validated a palliative care competency framework for undergraduate medical curricula. This framework can be used to guide teaching about palliative care.
Project description:Adults aged 65 years and older account for more than 33% of annual visits to internal medicine (IM) generalists and specialists. Geriatrics experiences are not standardized for IM residents. Data are lacking on IM residents' continuity experiences with older adults and competencies relevant to their care.To explore patient demographics and the prevalence of common geriatric conditions in IM residents' continuity clinics.We collected data on age and sex for all IM residents' active clinic patients during 2011-2012. Academic site continuity panels for 351 IM residents were drawn from 4 academic medical center sites. Common geriatric conditions, defined by Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders measures and the American Geriatrics Society IM geriatrics competencies, were identified through International Classification of Disease, ninth edition, coded electronic problem lists for residents' patients aged 65 years and older and cross-checked by audit of 20% of patients' charts across 1 year.Patient panels for 351 IM residents (of a possible 411, 85%) were reviewed. Older adults made up 21% of patients in IM residents' panels (range, 14%-28%); patients ? 75 (8%) or 85 (2%) years old were relatively rare. Concordance between electronic problem lists and chart audit was poor for most core geriatric conditions. On chart audit, active management of core geriatric conditions was variable: for example, memory loss (10%-25%), falls/gait abnormality (26%-42%), and osteoporosis (11%-35%).The IM residents' exposure to core geriatric conditions and management of older adults was variable across 4 academic medical center sites and often lower than anticipated in community practice.
Project description:BACKGROUND:This study aimed to determine the current state of oncology education in Canadian family medicine postgraduate medical education programs (FM PGME) and examine opinions regarding optimal oncology education in these programs. METHODS:A survey was designed to evaluate ideal and current oncology teaching, educational topics, objectives, and competencies in FM PGMEs. The survey was sent to Canadian family medicine (FM) residents and program directors (PDs). RESULTS:In total, 150 residents and 17 PDs affiliated with 16 of 17 Canadian medical schools completed the survey. The majority indicated their programs do not have a mandatory clinical rotation in oncology (79% residents, 88% PDs). Low rates of residents (7%) and PDs (13%) reported FM residents being adequately prepared for their role in caring for cancer patients (p?=?0.03). Residents and PDs believed the most optimal method of teaching oncology is through clinical exposure (65% residents, 80% PDs). Residents and PDs agreed the most important topics to learn (rated ?4.7 on 5-point Likert scale) were: performing pap smears, cancer screening/prevention, breaking bad news, and approach to patient with increased cancer risk. According to residents, other important topics such as appropriate cancer patient referrals, managing cancer complications and post-treatment surveillance were only taught at frequencies of 52, 40 and 36%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:Current FM PGME oncology education is suboptimal, although the degree differs in the opinion of residents and PDs. This study identified topics and methods of education which could be focussed upon to improve FM oncology education.
Project description:To assess how changes in curriculum, accreditation standards, and certification and licensure competencies impacted how medical students and physician residents value interprofessional team and patient-centered care.The Department of Veterans Affairs Learners' Perceptions Survey (2003-2013). The nationally administered survey asked a representative sample of 56,569 U.S. medical students and physician residents, with a comparison group of 78,038 nonphysician trainees, to rate satisfaction with 28 elements, in two overall domains, describing their clinical learning experiences at VA medical centers.Value preferences were scored as independent adjusted associations between an element (interprofessional team, patient-centered preceptor) and the respective overall domain (clinical learning environment, faculty, and preceptors) relative to a referent element (quality of clinical care, quality of preceptor).Physician trainees valued interprofessional (14 percent vs. 37 percent, p < .001) and patient-centered learning (21 percent vs. 36 percent, p < .001) less than their nonphysician counterparts. Physician preferences for interprofessional learning showed modest increases over time (2.5 percent/year, p < .001), driven mostly by internal medicine and surgery residents. Preferences did not increase with trainees' academic progress.Despite changes in medical education, physician trainees continue to lag behind their nonphysician counterparts in valuing experience with interprofessional team and patient-centered care.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Direct observation of medical students' clinical skills is important, but occurs infrequently. The mini-clinical evaluation exercise (mCEX) is a tool developed for use with internal medicine (IM) residents that can be used to promote direct observation of medical students' clinical skills. It is unknown how many IM core clerkships in the United States use the mCEX or how it has been implemented.<h4>Methods</h4>Questions about use of the mCEX were incorporated into an online annual survey distributed to the 114 IM clerkships belonging to Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine, a national organization of individuals responsible for teaching IM to medical students.<h4>Results</h4>The survey response rate was 83%. Twenty-eight percent (N=27) of respondents use the mCEX in their clerkship. The mean number of required mCEX encounters is 2.3 (SD 1.6). The mCEX is used for formative assessment (68%) more than summative assessment (11%). Ward attendings are the most common mCEX evaluators (72%).<h4>Discussion</h4>The mCEX is being used to promote direct observation of medical students' clinical skills in a significant minority of IM core clerkships. The mCEX is 1 tool for facilitating feedback from both faculty and residents on trainees' developing skills.
Project description:Palliative care competencies at the pediatric resident training level expand learned knowledge into behavior. The objective of this study was to investigate mode of palliative care education delivery preferred by pediatric residents and to report on participatory approach to resident palliative care curriculum design. A one-hour monthly palliative care curriculum was designed and implemented in a participatory manner with 20 pediatric residents at a free-standing Midwestern children's hospital. Outcome measures included pediatric residents' personal attitude and perceived training environment receptivity before and after implementation of a palliative care competency-based curriculum. An 18-item survey utilizing Social Cognitive Theory Constructs was administered at baseline and after palliative care curriculum implementation (2017?2018 curricular year). Pediatric residents prioritized real case discussions in group format (16/20) over other learning formats. Topics of highest interest at baseline were: discussing prognosis and delivering bad news (weighted average 12.9), pain control (12.3), goals of care to include code status (11.1), and integrative therapies (10.7). Summary of ordinal responses revealed improvement in self-assessment of personal attitude toward palliative care and training environment receptivity to palliative care domains after year-long curriculum implementation. Curricular approach which is attentive to pediatric residents' preferred learning format and self-assessment of their behaviors within their care setting environment may be beneficial in competency-based primary palliative training.
Project description:The emergency department (ED) visit rate for older patients exceeds that of all age groups other than infants. The aging population will increase elder ED patient utilization to 35% to 60% of all visits. Older patients can have complex clinical presentations and be resource-intensive. Evidence indicates that emergency physicians fail to provide consistent high-quality care for elder ED patients, resulting in poor clinical outcomes.The objective was to develop a consensus document, "Geriatric Competencies for Emergency Medicine Residents," by identified experts. This is a minimum set of behaviorally based performance standards that all residents should be able to demonstrate by completion of their residency training.This consensus-based process utilized an inductive, qualitative, multiphase method to determine the minimum geriatric competencies needed by emergency medicine (EM) residents. Assessments of face validity and reliability were used throughout the project.In Phase I, participants (n=363) identified 12 domains and 300 potential competencies. In Phase II, an expert panel (n=24) clustered the Phase I responses, resulting in eight domains and 72 competencies. In Phase III, the expert panel reduced the competencies to 26. In Phase IV, analysis of face validity and reliability yielded a 100% consensus for eight domains and 26 competencies. The domains identified were atypical presentation of disease; trauma, including falls; cognitive and behavioral disorders; emergent intervention modifications; medication management; transitions of care; pain management and palliative care; and effect of comorbid conditions.The Geriatric Competencies for EM Residents is a consensus document that can form the basis for EM residency curricula and assessment to meet the demands of our aging population.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Including palliative care (PC) in overloaded medical curricula is a challenge, especially where there is a lack of PC specialists. We hypothesised that non-specialised rotations could provide meaningful PC learning when there are enough clinical experiences, with adequate feedback. OBJECTIVE:Observe the effects of including PC topics in non-specialised placements for undergraduate medical students in two different medical schools. DESIGN:Observational prospective study. SETTING:Medical schools in Brazil. PARTICIPANTS:134 sixth-year medical students of two medical schools. METHODS:This was a longitudinal study that observed the development of Self-efficacy in Palliative Care (SEPC) and Thanatophobia (TS) in sixth-year medical students in different non-specialised clinical rotations in two Brazilian medical schools (MS1 and MS2). We enrolled 78 students in MS1 during the Emergency and Critical Care rotation and 56 students in MS2 during the rotation in Anaesthesiology. Both schools provide PC discussions with different learning environment and approaches. PRIMARY OUTCOMES:SEPC and TS Scales were used to assess students at the beginning and the end of the rotations. RESULTS:In both schools' students had an increase in SEPC and a decrease in TS scores. CONCLUSION:Non-specialised rotations that consider PC competencies as core aspects of being a doctor can be effective to develop SEPC and decrease TS levels.