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Keywords:

  • simulation;
  • assessment;
  • rater training;
  • licensure;
  • certification;
  • credentialing

Abstract

Competency-based assessment and an emphasis on obtaining higher-level outcomes that reflect physicians' ability to demonstrate their skills has created a need for more advanced assessment practices. Simulation-based assessments provide medical education planners with tools to better evaluate the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) core competencies by affording physicians opportunities to demonstrate their skills within a standardized and replicable testing environment, thus filling a gap in the current state of assessment for regulating the practice of medicine. Observational performance assessments derived from simulated clinical tasks and scenarios enable stronger inferences about the skill level a physician may possess, but also introduce the potential of rater errors into the assessment process. This article reviews the use of simulation-based assessments for certification, credentialing, initial licensure, and relicensing decisions and describes rater training strategies that may be used to reduce rater errors, increase rating accuracy, and enhance the validity of simulation-based observational performance assessments.