In 2014, the Association of American Medical Colleges recruited 10 institutions across the United States to pilot the 13 Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency (Core EPAs). The goal was to establish a competency-based framework to prepare graduating medical students for the transition to residency. Within the Core EPAs pilot, medical students play an influential role in the development and implementation of EPA-related curricula. Student engagement was a priority for the Core EPAs institutions given students’ roles as the end users of the curriculum, thus they may offer valuable insight into its design and implementation.
Here, the authors provide the perspective of medical students who serve as leaders in the Core EPAs pilot at their respective institutions. They describe student leadership models across the pilot institutions as well as 6 key challenges to implementation of the Core EPAs: (1) How and when should the Core EPAs be introduced? (2) Who is responsible for driving the assessment process? (3) What feedback mechanisms are required? (4) What systems are required for advising, mentoring, or coaching students? (5) Should EPA performance contribute to students’ grades? and (6) Should entrustment decisions be tied to graduation requirements?
Using a polarity management framework to address each challenge, the authors describe inherent tensions, approaches used by the Core EPAs pilot institutions, and student-centered recommendations for resolving each tension. By sharing the experiences and perspectives of students engaged in the Core EPAs pilot, the authors hope to inform implementation of EPA-oriented assessment practices and feedback across institutions in the United States.