Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2012 Indianapolis Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Preparedness for Internship Survey Assesses Perceptions of Senior Medical Students

Lisa E Leggio, MD - Georgia Health Sciences University's Medical College of Georgia; Deborah S Richardson, PhD - Georgia Health Sciences University's Medical College of Georgia; Cindy Borges-Suarez, BA - Georgia Health Sciences University's Medical College of Georgia; Brittany Bodie, MS - Georgia Health Sciences University's Medical College of Georgia

Background:  Residency Program Directors report that medical students graduate inadequately prepared for internship, and they encourage a focus on ACGME core competencies during senior year of medical school (Langdale, Lyss-Lerman).  Others have examined intern preparedness in general medicine (Gome), developed experiences to prepare students for internship, and used a survey to assess experience (Farnan, Fisher).  However, means of assessing the extent to which students are prepared for internship are not apparent.

Innovation Goals:   Our goal was to develop a measure of medical students’ self-perceived preparedness for internship and demonstrate evidence supporting validity.  Our examination of the tool includes assessment of the impact of an Advanced Pediatrics elective (AP) and of the Sub-I on student-perceived preparedness for internship.  

Description of Innovation:  The content of the Preparedness for Internship Survey was based on the ACGME Competencies and the APPD/COMSEP Sub-Internship Curriculum.  Competencies cited as important to program directors and competencies that were covered by our curricula were included.  Respondents answered on 5-point response scales, ranging from 1 (“not at all prepared”) to 5 (“very well prepared”).

Results: Preparedness for internship surveys were completed at the beginning of senior year (T1), after AP (T2), and after a Pediatric Sub-I (T3).  Subscales based on the six ACGME competencies were also analyzed.  Cronbach’s alpha was >0.8 for overall score and all subscales at T1 and maintained for most subscales across T2 and T3.  Students who had taken AP showed a significant increase in scores from T1 to T2 (p < 0.001). By the end of the Sub-I (T3), all students’ scores had increased from T1 (p <0 .001). There were no statistically significant differences between the scores of those who took AP and those who did not by the end of the Sub-I.

Conclusions/Discussion:  Three of the five types of validity evidence described by Downing were demonstrated:  content (derived from national competencies), internal structure (internal consistency of items),  and relationship to other variables (scores improved with experience. This tool can be used for self-assessment by students and for program evaluation by educators.