Background: Evidence based medicine (EBM) has been identified by the Association of American Medical Colleges as an entrustable professional activity for medical students entering residency, however competency in this domain is only achieved 63.8% of the time in incoming residents. The ACE Tool and Fresno Test are two validated instruments for assessing EBM competency in medical students and residents. Despite individual validation for each of these tools, it is unknown if these testing instruments can be correlated to accurately assess an individual’s competency in EBM. The authors of this study implemented a new EBM curriculum over the course of a four-week mandatory fourth year EM clerkship. Both tools were used as part of the assessment in attempt to find the best way to assess the students, give it was a new curriculum. The objective of this study was to retrospectively determine if there is a correlation between these testing instruments in fourth year medical students exposed to our EBM curriculum.
Methods: This study retrospectively examined and compared the ACE and Fresno scores of all fourth year medical students that were enrolled in the mandatory EM clerkship from June through November 2018, a total of 88 students. Spearman’s rho was calculated to determine if there was correlation between the ACE and Fresno Scores.
Results: All 88 eligible fourth year medical students were included in the study. The median score on the ACE test was 10 out of a possible score of 15 or 66.7%. The median score on the Fresno test was 133 out of a possible 212 or 62.7%. There was a negative weak, non-significant correlation between the ACE and Fresno scores: spearman’s rho = -.017 , p=0.878.
Conclusion: No correlation is demonstrated between the ACE and Fresno assessment tools. Further research is needed to determine the optimal testing methods to assess trainees’ knowledge of EBM concepts.