In Training Resident Assessment (ITAR)
By Dr. Tom Laughlin
Dalhousie Family Medicine has produced a narrative ITAR to promote a more credible and valid assessment of our learners. The ITAR is designed to document competence and promote learning. It is formatted using the CFPC Evaluation Objectives, as is our Field Note. The intent is to populate the ITAR with cumulative credible information from field notes.
We have found creating a cumulative ITAR saves us considerable time; we are simply describing areas of competence achieved and areas for further development. Information documented on field notes is used as an "aide-memoire" and for direct quotes to be added to illustrate points. Once the cumulative ITAR is populated with areas of achieved competence they will not need to be repeated in future reports.
An effective way to start is to open One45 with the ITAR to be completed and the last ITAR on the same learner (if there is one completed; otherwise, go directly to the next step). Once both are opened, simply copy and paste the previously documented information into the appropriate skill dimension in the ITAR you are working on. Please ensure all entries are dated. (We are currently working with One45 to skip this step and have them populate the ITAR with this information before sending out it out to you.)
Next, have the resident organize their acquired field notes according to skill dimensions and share them with you. You can then review the field notes. You can do this on your own or with the resident present. You should note areas of strength, weakness and concerns. It is also important to determine which skill dimensions have been sufficiently addressed, and which require further attention with field note documentation as the resident progresses.
The final stage is to complete the ITAR with the resident. The prior review will provide the basis for your discussion with the resident identifying which of the skill dimensions they are performing well and where they might need to focus their efforts going forward. During the ITAR completion process it is important to extract comments from field notes that may be useful to add to the ITAR to illustrate an area of achieved competence or a coaching point.
Read carefully the description of the skill dimension you are reporting on, and address those descriptors in completing the ITAR using qualitative comments including but not limited to those extracted from field notes.
Thank you very much for providing this information for our residents to both document their emerging competence and develop an appropriate learning plan for their further development.