Teaching Resident Self-Assessment Through Triangulation of Faculty and Patient Feedback

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Problem: To accurately determine one's ability in any clinical competency, an individual must be able to self-assess performance and identify personal limitations. Existing research demonstrates that physicians of all levels are unreliable self-assessors. This poses a concern in medical practice, which requires continuous updates to clinical competencies and awareness of personal limitations. Few published studies examine graduate medical education curricula designed to develop self-assessment skills. Intervention: Conceptual models, such as self-determination theory, suggest that self-assessment is most effectively learned through reflective processes. The Family Medicine Residency Program at Lehigh Valley Health Network developed a learner-centered competency assessment process that integrates advising and performance review. The multisource, observable behavior-based process encourages conversation between resident and advisor. Utilizing feedback from clinical preceptors and patient surveys, advisors guide residents in determining individual learning needs in core competency areas, including relationship-centered care. Development of medical learners' capacity to form relationships is one means to improving the patient experience. Context: This retrospective case study evaluates the accuracy of senior residents' self-assessment in relationship-centered care compared with that of junior residents. The study population includes the 34 residents enrolled from AY 2009–2012. Data sets represent specific 6-month periods and have 3 component scores—Self, Faculty, and Patient—which were triangulated to determine concordance rates by postgraduate year level. Outcome: The concordance rate among first-years was 26.7%, whereas third-years saw 60.0% concordance. A discordance analysis found the Patient score most often deviated from the other 2 scores, whereas the Faculty score was never the sole dissenter. When all 3 scores differed, the Self score frequently fell between the other 2 scores. Lessons Learned: The principles of self-determination theory provide a valuable framework for understanding the development of residents' intrinsic motivation to become lifelong learners. The trend in improved concordance rates among senior residents suggests that prompting learners to triangulate feedback from multiple sources can lead to a shift in perspective about competency. Further study is needed to determine whether our results are generalizable to other competencies and educational settings





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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Teaching and Learning in Medicine 12/21/2016, available online:



Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine Faculty

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