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J Grad Med Educ. 2009 Sep;1(1):73-81. doi: 10.4300/01.01.0012.

Description of a developmental criterion-referenced assessment for promoting competence in internal medicine residents.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

End-of- rotation global evaluations can be subjective, produce inflated grades, lack interrater reliability, and offer information that lacks value. This article outlines the generation of a unique developmental criterion-referenced assessment that applies adult learning theory and the learner, manager, teacher model, and represents an innovative application to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) 9-point scale.

INTERVENTION:

We describe the process used by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine to develop rotation-specific, criterion-based evaluation anchors that evolved into an effective faculty development exercise.

RESULTS:

The intervention gave faculty a clearer understanding of the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies, each rotation's educational goals, and how rotation design affects meaningful work-based assessment. We also describe easily attainable successes in evaluation design and pitfalls that other institutions may be able to avoid. Shifting the evaluation emphasis on the residents' development of competence has made the expectations of rotation faculty more transparent, has facilitated conversations between program director and residents, and has improved the specificity of the tool for feedback. Our findings showed the new approach reduced grade inflation compared with the ABIM end-of-rotation global evaluation form.

DISCUSSION:

We offer the new developmental criterion-referenced assessment as a unique application of the competences to the ABIM 9-point scale as a transferable model for improving the validity and reliability of resident evaluations across graduate medical education programs.

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