Editorial Views  |   April 2018
Competence: The Link between Education and Quality Patient Care
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee (M.D.M., A.B.); the Center for Innovation in Perioperative Health, Education, and Research (M.D.M.), and the Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (A.B.) Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee (M.D.M., A.B.); and the Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University Clinical Simulation Center, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri (D.J.M.).
  • Corresponding article on page 821.
    Corresponding article on page 821.×
  • Accepted for publication November 29, 2017.
    Accepted for publication November 29, 2017.×
  • Address correspondence to Dr. McEvoy: matthew.d.mcevoy@vanderbilt.edu
Article Information
Editorial Views / Education / CPD / Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Systems / Quality Improvement
Editorial Views   |   April 2018
Competence: The Link between Education and Quality Patient Care
Anesthesiology 4 2018, Vol.128, 707-709. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002092
Anesthesiology 4 2018, Vol.128, 707-709. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002092
THE processes in training and assessment that ensure that a physician will be capable and able to perform their job throughout years of medical practice are essential for maintaining the public’s trust and confidence in the social contract that exists with medical education.1  The opening statement in the article by Blum et al. in this edition of Anesthesiology articulates this concept by stating that “evaluating whether graduates of anesthesiology residency programs are competent is an essential goal.”2  The major aim of the study was to help “improve resident proficiency by further evaluation of a methodology to assess a resident’s critical performance behaviors that are not typically captured in a standardized way over the course of residency training.” The findings by Blum et al. advance the literature on performance measurement in two significant ways. First, the authors describe a valid and reliable set of tools for assessing anesthesiology resident performance in domains of practice that are not typically evaluated in a standardized fashion during clinical training. Specifically, the research team used validated simulation scenarios to assess critical behaviors for managing a wide range of perioperative events that occur infrequently in clinical practice. Second, the authors advance upon previous studies by testing these tools across three residency training programs, thus adding to the generalizability of the findings. Simply put, the study demonstrates that standardized and validated simulation scenarios paired with valid and reliable performance assessment scores can discriminate between senior and junior trainees. This is of profound importance because implementation of such a system of evaluation should allow anesthesiology program directors to assess resident skills in an objective manner with confidence and, if necessary, guide educational interventions with the goal of improving the quality of their graduates’ performance.
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