Theresa C. Lykins, Certified Clerskhip Administrator; Sharyl J. Santema, MD; Jeremy L. Gibson, MD, Pediatrics; Sandra K. Oliver, PhD, Medical Education, TAMHSC-COM-S&W, Temple, TX; Martha Chandler, Certified Clerkship Administrator, UGME Team Manager, TAMHSC-COM-S&W, Temple, TX
Background: Annually, third-year students on the Scott &White (S&W) Pediatric Clerkship (PC) at Texas A&M Health Science Center - College of Medicine - S&W asked for more objective feedback to improve unique pediatric skills. The Clerkship Director (CD) encouraged student self-assessment and provided faculty instruction in appropriate feedback. Despite these efforts, perception of desire and need for feedback remained. To address students’ concerns, the CD in 2008 integrated into the clerkship a formal formative mid-clerkship evaluation (FFME) tool. Objectives: The FFME tool was designed to promote (1) student self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses and (2) to enhance objective faculty feedback with specifics for improvement. This study analyzes the impact of the FFME integration into the clerkship. The FFME occurred during week four of the six week clerkship After the FFME, the evaluation forms are kept in students’ files. However, these evaluations are not configured into the final grade. Methods: Students’ clerkship evaluations, comments requesting more feedback, and clerkship grades were compared before and after the FFME was introduced into the curriculum. In 2008 and 2009 students evaluated the benefit of the FFME tool. Results: Before the introduction of FFME on final clerkship evaluations 69% (18/26) of students requested more feedback. The first year of FFME 50% (10/20) of students requested more feedback; and in the second year of FFME no students requested more feedback. Clerkship grades improved after FFME. The number of students with grades less than a B dropped from pre-FFME 18% (9/50) to 12% the first year of FFME to 0% the second year of FFME. Student evaluations of the clerkship improved the first year after FFME and subsequently plateaued. In 2008 and 2009 students evaluated the helpfulness of FFME extremely positively. Interpretation of Results: The data on the final clerkship evaluations reflect that the FFME helps students increase their perception of feedback. Students saw the tool as helpful. Self assessment and faculty feedback are documented. Based on written feedback from faculty, students understand how to improve their performance. Areas of weakness are identified and targeted interventions improved clerkship performance. Overall clerkship evaluations remained high.