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J Grad Med Educ. 2014 Sep;6(3):551-4. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-13-00365.1.

An End-of-Year Oral Examination for Internal Medicine Residents: An Assessment Tool for the Clinical Competency Committee.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Comprehensive evaluations of clinical competency consume a large amount of time and resources. An oral examination is a unique evaluation tool that can augment a global performance assessment by the Clinical Competency Committee (CCC).

OBJECTIVE:

We developed an oral examination to aid our CCC in evaluating resident performance.

METHODS:

We reviewed tools used in our internal medicine residency program and other training programs in our institution. A literature search failed to identify reports of a similar evaluation tool used in internal medicine programs. We developed and administered an internal medicine oral examination (IMOE) to our postgraduate year-1 and postgraduate year-2 internal medicine residents annually over a 3-year period. The results were used to enhance our CCC's discussion of overall resident performance. We estimated the costs in terms of faculty time away from patient care activities.

RESULTS:

Of the 54 residents, 46 (86%) passed the IMOE on their first attempt. Of the 8 (14%) residents who failed, all but 1 successfully passed after a mentored study period and retest. Less than 0.1 annual full-time equivalent per faculty member was committed by most faculty involved, and the time spent on the IMOE replaced regular resident daily conference activities.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of the IMOE were added to other assessment tools and used by the CCC for a global assessment of resident performance. An oral examination is feasible in terms of cost and can be easily modified to fit the needs of various competency committees.

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