Integrating the NAS milestones and handheld technology to improve residency training and assessment

Carisa M. Cooney, Richard J. Redett, Amir H. Dorafshar, Bahar Zarrabi, Scott D. Lifchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective To incorporate the use of an intuitive and robust assessment tool in conjunction with the Next Accreditation System Milestones to maximize opportunities for trainee performance feedback and continuous trainee assessment, with the long-term goal of increasing the rate of performance improvement and mastery of knowledge and surgical skills. Design Pilot study. Setting Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Primary, tertiary, and quaternary clinical care; institutional environment. Participants Experimental group: two randomly selected postgraduate year-1 integrated training program residents per year for 2 consecutive years from the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Control group: traditionally trained residents from the integrated training program in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Study duration: 7 years (until residents complete residency training). Anticipated Results This assessment strategy would create large amounts of informative data on trainees, which can be cross-referenced to determine trainee progress. Assessment data would be collected continuously from all faculty surgeons. Comparisons of faculty and resident self-assessments would facilitate resident evaluations. Ease of use of the data collection structure would improve faculty evaluation compliance and timely resident case report completion. Conclusions Improving the efficiency and efficacy of competency documentation is critical. Using portable technologies is an intuitive way to improve the trainee assessment process. We anticipate that this 2-pronged approach to trainee assessments would quickly provide large amounts of informative data to better assess trainee progress and inform Milestone assessments in a manner that facilitates immediate feedback. Assessments of faculty and resident satisfaction would help us further refine the assessment process as needed. If successful, this format could easily be implemented by other training programs. Applicable Project Area Innovations in Surgical Education: Milestones

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-42
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • educational assessment
  • graduate medical education
  • medical residency
  • plastic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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