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Teach Learn Med. 2012;24(1):8-17. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2012.641478.

Attitudes of affiliate faculty members toward medical student summative evaluation for clinical clerkships: a qualitative analysis.

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  • 1Pediatrics, Reading Hospital and Medical Center, Reading, Pennsylvania 19611, USA.



Summative evaluation of medical students is a critical component of the educational process. Despite extensive literature on evaluation, few studies have centered on affiliate faculty members' attitudes toward summative evaluation of students, though it has been suggested that these attitudes influence their effectiveness as evaluators.


The objective is to examine affiliate faculty members' attitudes toward clinical clerkship evaluation using primarily qualitative research methods.


The study used a nonexperimental research design and employed mixed methods. Data were collected through interviews, focus groups, and a questionnaire from 11 affiliate faculty members.


Themes emerging from the data fell into three broad categories: (a) factors that influence grading, (b) consequences of negative evaluations, and (c) disconnections in the grading process. The quantitative portion of the study revealed important discrepancies supporting the use of qualitative methods.


The study highlights faculty members' struggles with the evaluative process and emphasizes the need for improvements in evaluation tools and faculty development.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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