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ABS Selects the Society for Improving Medical Professional Learning to Provide EPA Technology Solution

Sept. 01, 2022 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney, 215-568-4000

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) is pleased to announce that it has selected the Society for Improving Medical Professional Learning (formerly the Procedural Learning and Safety Collaborative, or PLSC) to develop a mobile platform for trainee assessment as part of its Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) project.

The ABS is developing a full suite of EPAs to form the foundation for competency-based assessment of surgical residents nationwide. General surgery residents, starting with the entering class of 2023, will be assessed using this individualized, frequent, actionable feedback in the form of EPAs. Other ABS specialties, including vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, complex general surgical oncology, and surgical critical care, will follow suit in subsequent years.

The Society for Improving Medical Professional Learning (SIMPL Collaborative) will provide the full spectrum of technology support for the ABS EPA Project, including the mobile platform, secure data storage, and reporting structures that will enable programs to implement the EPA assessment model.

"The SIMPL Collaborative has a very strong track record working in graduate surgical education with assessment tools delivered over mobile platforms," said ABS Vice President and EPA project lead Dr. John Mellinger. "Their commitment to improving assessment strategies and the training environment through large scale data collection and analytics makes them an ideal choice for the EPA project's mobile deployment strategy."

The SIMPL Collaborative brings many strengths, including: an identity as an educational quality improvement consortium; a history of providing residency programs with mobile operative skill assessment products; experience with implementation and support strategies with such products in a variety of institutional settings; and a long track record of developing scientific infrastructure for improvement in surgical education. The SIMPL Collaborative’s non-profit commitment, philosophic alignment, and ongoing collaborations with other key partners in medical education make it an ideal provider of the EPA platform

"On behalf of all members of the SIMPL Collaborative, we are thrilled to support the ABS in this groundbreaking project," said Brian George, M.D., M.A.Ed., executive director of the SIMPL Collaborative.

The ABS project will utilize a customized, 'next generation' version of the SIMPL Collaborative's assessment platform, which will be tailored specifically for the EPA assessment model. The mobile-based platform will allow for time-efficient, feedback-oriented assessment of resident performance in the course of daily clinical workflow and will be composed by and deployed under ABS sponsorship to all ACGME-accredited general surgery training programs

Additional information and platform training materials will be provided to general surgery training programs prior to the July 2023 launch. An alternate option for the collection of resident assessments will be available for programs that are not able to utilize the assessment platform for legal or other reasons, with additional information forthcoming

For additional information about the ABS EPA Project, please visit our EPA information hub. See also our EPA mobile platform FAQs.


About the ABS
  • The American Board of Surgery is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge in the field of surgery. Surgeons certified by the ABS have completed at least five years of surgical training following medical school and successfully completed a written and oral examination process administered by the ABS. They must then maintain their board certification through ongoing learning and practice improvement activities.
  • The ABS offers board certification in general surgery, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical critical care, complex general surgical oncology, surgery of the hand, and hospice and palliative medicine. It is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
About the SIMPL Collaborative
  • The Society for Improving Medical Professional Learning (SIMPL Collaborative) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit international consortium of training programs working to implement a more evidence-based educational system. Governed by volunteer medical educators, the SIMPL Collaborative has grown to include over 180 training programs in 19 different specialties in the US, Sweden, Kenya, Niger, and Japan.
  • SIMPL Collaborative members have collectively developed and implemented robust, cutting-edge performance measurement and analytics infrastructure. The SIMPL Collaborative has also supported dozens of research trials, including many multi-institutional trials, resulting in over 50 publications. The SIMPL Collaborative also partners with many national stakeholders in this work and continues to seek broad collaboration to improve the medical education system.
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