Exploring Perspectives from Internal Medicine Clerkship Directors in the USA on Effective Narrative Evaluation: Results from the CDIM National Survey

Robert Ledford, Alfred Burger, Jeff LaRochelle, Farina Klocksieben, Deborah DeWaay, Kevin E. O’Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Clinical performance evaluations play a critical role in determining medical school clerkship grades. This study aimed to provide clarification from clerkship directors in internal medicine on what constitutes an effective and informative narrative description of student performance. Methods: In September 2016, the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) electronically administered its annual, voluntary, and confidential cross-sectional survey of its US membership. One section of the survey asked six questions regarding the helpful components of an effective narrative evaluation. Respondents were asked to rate the effectiveness of elements contained within narrative evaluations of students. Results: Ninety-five CDIM members responded to the survey with an overall response rate of 74.2%. Descriptions of skills and behaviors were felt to be the most important, followed by a description of the overall synthetic or global assessment level of the student. Descriptions of personality and attitude were the next highest rated feature followed by adjectives describing performance. Length was felt to be the least important component. In free-text comments, several respondents indicated that direct observation of performance and specific examples of skills and behaviors are also desirable. Conclusions: Narrative evaluations of students that explicitly comment on skills, behaviors, and an overarching performance level of the learner are strongly preferred by clerkship directors. Direct observation of clinical performance and giving specific examples of such behaviors give evaluations even more importance. Faculty development on evaluation and assessment should include instruction on these narrative assessment characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Science Educator
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Faculty development
  • Learner assessment
  • Narrative evaluation

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