ABMS Statement on Competency-Based Medical Education During COVID-19 Residency and Fellowship Disruptions

On September 22, 2020

In response to the extraordinary circumstances and disruptions in residency and fellowship training programs across the country due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is offering guidance and clear expectations surrounding competency-based medical education. The recommendations, developed by a Task Force with representatives from ABMS and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, were created for program directors, designated institutional officials (DIOS), and Member Boards and acknowledge that while traditional, time-based or volume-based competency measures may require modification, there must also be a trusted and practical means of determining that a resident or fellow is ready to progress to the next phase of his/her professional career.

Completion of a residency or fellowship is an essential element to qualify for board certification and the judgment and attestation from program directors are extremely important in determining readiness for independent practice.  The recommendations, adopted by both organizations, outline Five Core Recommendations to assist program directors and clinical competency committees in assessing a trainee’s competency in his/her specialty or sub-specialty. This guidance will serve to address the needs of trainees, program directors and DIOs, while assuring health care providers, patients, families, and communities of the integrity and trustworthiness of the decision-making process regarding a fellow or resident’s competency.

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