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Abstract

There is an established expectation that physicians in training demonstrate competence in all aspects of clinical care prior to entering professional practice. Multiple methods have been used to assess competence in patient care, including direct observation, simulation-based assessments, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), global faculty evaluations, 360-degree evaluations, portfolios, self-reflection, clinical performance metrics, and procedure logs. A thorough assessment of competence in patient care requires a mixture of methods, taking into account each method's costs, benefits, and current level of evidence. At the 2012 Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) consensus conference on educational research, one breakout group reviewed and discussed the evidence supporting various methods of assessing patient care and defined a research agenda for the continued development of specific assessment methods based on current best practices. In this article, the authors review each method's supporting reliability and validity evidence and make specific recommendations for future educational research.