School of Medicine Resources

Using the "5 As" to Answer Clinical Questions


What are the 5 As?


The UVA School of Medicine (SOM) will be using the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) model to guide your developing clinical skills and provide a method of evaluation. EPA # 7, in particular, outlines how to form a clinical question and retrieve evidence from the literature to support and advance patient care.

The model used for EPA 7 is the evidence-based process known as the 5 As.  The 5 As are:

1 - ASSESS the patient
2 - ASK a question
3 - ACQUIRE the best evidence
4 - APPRAISE the evidence
5 - APPLY the evidence back to the patient

"Foundations of Clinical Medicine": Applying the 5 As

In your weekly Foundations in Clinical Medicine sessions you will be using the 5 As to: 

  • Form good patient-related questions
  • Build literature search strategies to efficiently find relevant answers to incorporate back into patient management

Your instructions are as follows for your weekly self-directed learning exercises (SDLs):
The student assigned to give the SDL lecture the following week should briefly discuss a plan and draft key clinical question (based on a previous FCM case) with their coach.

The SDL for the following week will include a 10 - minute presentation, a deliverable such as ppt or handout, and a research road - map (screen shot of final search terms and search results from chosen database).  

Remember to use the 5 - A framework. Coaches should help student draft a specific research question based on a prior FCM case.

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