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Identifying entrustable professional activities for surgical skills training in companion animal health
  1. Robert P Favier1,
  2. Marjolein Godijn1 and
  3. Harold G J Bok2
  1. 1Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2Centre for Quality Improvement in Veterinary Education, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert P Favier; robertfavier14101973{at}


Background Veterinary medical education is increasingly moving towards outcome-based training based on competency frameworks. A source of concern is the translation of competencies into the practice of clinical teaching, for example, surgical skills training. It is suggested that the use of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) might bridge this gap. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to identify EPAs related to surgical skills for companion animal health to enhance competency-based education.

Methods Draft versions of EPAs related to surgical skills were established by an iterative consensus-based approach through 45-min interview sessions. These draft versions were used to explore the opinion of companion animal veterinarians, both veterinarians (specialists, residents and interns) involved in undergraduate teaching and veterinarians working in private practice involved in extramural clinical teaching, on the relevance and level of entrustment of the EPAs through a modified Delphi procedure. Mean (relevance) and median (level of entrustment) scores were calculated and textual comments were analysed to create a final framework of EPAs related to surgical skills.

Results and conclusion The Delphi panel reached consensus in three rounds. Thirty-four per cent of those invited to participate in the study completed the final survey. Finally, a list of 13 EPAs related to companion animal surgical skills a student should be entrusted to perform at time of graduation was established.

  • entrustable professional activity
  • surgery
  • companion animal health
  • competence
  • assessment
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  • RPF and MG contributed equally.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval All participants of the interview sessions and the Delphi procedure were informed that participation was voluntary and full confidentiality and anonymity were assured (informed consent). Participants could only enter the survey if they agreed on participation.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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