Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2009 Baltimore Meeting with APPD

Poster Presentation:


James R. Stallworth, MD, Sara F. Lindsey, MD, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC

BACKGROUND: Reports on the use of peer assessment for constructive feedback are limited in the medical education literature. No reports isolate peer assessments from students on their pediatric rotation. Furthermore, the impact of these evaluations on students and whether they change behavior has been minimally explored. The Department of Pediatrics has obtained anonymous peer evaluations within clerkships groups for the past four years. Students are supplied with an open ended forum whereby they provide evaluations on each member of their group. The responses are collected by the clerkship director, formalized constructively, and become part of the overall course evaluation but do not affect the final grade. Objectives of this work is to determine if: 1) Do students value the content of peer evaluations? Has the impact of peer evaluations caused a change in behavior? Are medical students accepting of peer evaluations? METHODS: During the summer of 2007, 234 students who completed the pediatric clerkship within the prior four years were mailed surveys. 110 students responded anonymously by year of graduation. A sixteen question Likert scale questionnaire with one open ended comment section was used. RESULTS: Selected student responses of the peer evaluations reported as “agreed” or “strongly agreed” were: Beneficial 64%, Accurate 67%, Changed behavior 30%, Positively impacted communication with peer groups 41%, Positively impacted communication with patients 17%, Made me anxious 35%, Content of peer and faculty evaluations were similar 56%, Popularity impacted the peer evaluation process 63%, and Peer evaluation should impact the clerkship grade 18%. CONCLUSIONS: Our project assessed open ended peer feedback and its impact on self awareness and change in behavior. Two thirds of students found them beneficial. From these data, we have developed a quantitative peer evaluation form. This will be a more objective measure and will allow the students to compare themselves to their peers. This tool may be utilized as part of a clerkship’s 360 degree evaluation process.