Natural language processing and entrustable professional activity text feedback in surgery: A machine learning model of resident autonomy.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) contain narrative 'entrustment roadmaps' designed to describe specific behaviors associated with different entrustment levels. However, these roadmaps were created using expert committee consensus, with little data available for guidance. Analysis of actual EPA assessment narrative comments using natural language processing may enhance our understanding of resident entrustment in actual practice. METHODS: All text comments associated with EPA microassessments at a single institution were combined. EPA-entrustment level pairs (e.g. Gallbladder Disease-Level 1) were identified as documents. Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), a common machine learning algorithm, was used to identify latent topics in the documents associated with a single EPA. These topics were then reviewed for interpretability by human raters. RESULTS: Over 18 months, 1015 faculty EPA microassessments were collected from 64 faculty for 80 residents. LDA analysis identified topics that mapped 1:1 to EPA entrustment levels (Gammas >0.99). These LDA topics appeared to trend coherently with entrustment levels (words demonstrating high entrustment were consistently found in high entrustment topics, word demonstrating low entrustment were found in low entrustment topics). CONCLUSIONS: LDA is capable of identifying topics relevant to progressive surgical entrustment and autonomy in EPA comments. These topics provide insight into key behaviors that drive different level of resident autonomy and may allow for data-driven revision of EPA entrustment maps.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stahl, CC; Jung, SA; Rosser, AA; Kraut, AS; Schnapp, BH; Westergaard, M; Hamedani, AG; Minter, RM; Greenberg, JA

Published Date

  • February 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 221 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 369 - 375

PubMed ID

  • 33256944

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7969407

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1883

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.11.044


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States