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Standardized Assessment of Academic Productivity During Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship Training

Case Western Reserve University - MetroHealth Medical Center
Cleveland, Ohio

Program Director: Ziad Shaman, MD
Associate Program Director: Dennis Auckley, MD
Type of Program: Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Abstract Authors: Daniel Monroy, MD, Ziad Shaman, MD, Dennis Auckley, MD

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has specific requirements (core, detail and outcome) for Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine training programs. The requirements include the participation of fellows in scholarly activity and the demonstration of evidence of academic productivity. In the Next Accreditation System (NAS), programs are required to measure and report discrete and observable behaviors that chart the progress of trainees throughout training, known as “Milestones”. Milestones for academic and scholarly activity have yet to be established. Metrics by which pulmonary and critical care medicine training programs can measure academic productivity of trainees are lacking. We sought to develop such a tool.

At a single academic center, a scoring system for academic productivity was developed. First, a survey was administered to the faculty and fellows of the training program in order to identify areas significant for academic progress. Items of majority consensus were grouped into three domains: Creation of Knowledge (5 items), dissemination of knowledge (7 items) and professional personal development (5 items). A second survey was administered, aimed to assign “mandatory” versus “optional” status of each item within the domains, and to give weight to each item. Areas of controversy were discussed between the authors of this work and consensus was reached. The Pulmonary/Critical Care Academic Scoring System (PASS) was thus created and is shown in attachment 1. The PASS was then applied retrospectively to the program graduates of 3 years prior to the PASS development (Baseline group). The fellows in training were oriented to the PASS and were required to score their academic productivity at each semiannual evaluation that followed that date (Active group). The scores of the Active group were compared to those in the Baseline group using t-test.

The Baseline group (n=6) had an average PASS of 111 points (range 79 to 125, SD 15.6), compared to the active group (n=2) with an average PASS of 134.5 points, (range 111 to 158, SD 23.5, p=0.49). Research projects and Quality Improvement Projects represented the highest proportion of points, followed by Oral Presentations and Medical Certifications. Adherence to “mandatory” items was 87.5 % for all fellows, but 100% in the Active group.

Establishing a standardized assessment of academic productivity for pulmonary/critical care fellows may be useful in quantifying and comparing academic productivity within and between programs in addition to providing a tool for allowing standardized tracking and reporting of such activity to governing agencies. The observed increase in PASS scores amongst the Active group of fellows in this study may have resulted from a better understanding of academic productivity requirements by the fellows. Improved documentation of academic achievements may have also contributed. Further study with a larger sample size is needed to better understand the validity and utility of this tool.


Last Reviewed: July 2016