An assessment of the clinical skills of fourth-year students at four New England medical schools.
This paper describes a collaborative effort among five New England medical schools to assess important clinical skills of fourth-year medical students graduating in the class of 1988; results are presented from the four schools that provided sufficient data. Faculty from each school developed 36 patient cases representing a variety of common ambulatory-care problems. Over the course of a day, each student, on average, interacted with 16 different standardized patients, who were nonphysicians trained to accurately and consistently portray a patient in a simulated clinical setting. The students obtained focused histories, performed relevant physical examinations, and provided the patients with education and counseling. At each school, the performance of a small number of the students fell below standards set by the faculty. These deficiencies were not detected with the evaluation strategies currently being used. Although the use of standardized patients should not substitute for the process of faculty observing students as they interact with real patients, it appears that standardized patients can provide faculty with important information, not readily available from other sources, about students' performances of essential clinical activities and the levels of their clinical skills.
Published In/Presented At
Stillman, P. L., Regan, M. B., Swanson, D. B., Case, S., McCahan, J., Feinblatt, J., Smith, S. R., Willms, J., & Nelson, D. V. (1990). An assessment of the clinical skills of fourth-year students at four New England medical schools. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 65(5), 320–326. https://doi.org/10.1097/00001888-199005000-00013
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine