Entrustable Professional Activities in General Surgery: Trends in Resident Self-Assessment

Christopher C. Stahl, Sarah A. Jung, Alexandra A. Rosser, Aaron S. Kraut, Benjamin H. Schnapp, Mary Westergaard, Azita G. Hamedani, Rebecca M. Minter, Jacob A. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Effective self-assessment is a cornerstone of lifelong professional development; however, evidence suggests physicians have a limited ability to self-assess. Novel strategies to improve the accuracy of learner self-assessment are needed. Our institution's surgical entrustable professional activity (EPA) implementation strategy incorporates resident self-assessment to address this issue. This study evaluates the accuracy of resident self-assessment versus faculty assessment across 5 EPAs in general surgery. Design, Setting, Participants: Within a single academic general surgery residency program, assessment data for 5 surgery EPAs was prospectively collected using a mobile application. Matched assessments (resident and faculty assessments for the same clinical encounter) were identified and the remainder excluded. Assessment scores were compared using Welch's t test. Agreement was analyzed using Cohen's kappa with squared weights. Results: One thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven EPA assessments were collected in 17 months following implementation. One thousand one hundred and fifty-five (62.2%) were matched pairs. Residents under-rated their own performance relative to faculty assessments (2.36 vs 2.65, p < 0.01). This pattern held true for all subsets except for Postgraduate Year (PGY)2 residents and Inguinal Hernia EPAs. There was at least moderate agreement between matched resident and faculty EPA assessment scores (κ = 0.57). This was consistent for all EPAs except Trauma evaluations, which were completed by faculty from 2 different departments. Surgery resident self-assessments more strongly agreed with Surgery faculty assessments than Emergency Medicine faculty assessments (κ = 0.58 vs 0.36). Conclusions: Resident EPA self-assessments are equivalent or slightly lower than faculty assessments across a wide breadth of clinical scenarios. Resident and faculty matched assessments demonstrate moderate agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1562-1567
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • education
  • entrustable professional activities
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • self-assessment
  • surgery residency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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