Minutes 02/28/02

Minutes 02/28/02

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Clinical Medicine Committee

In attendance: Reid Adams, Lisa Doyle, Allison Innes, Donald Innes, Vern Juel, Karen Maughan, Gary Owens, Michael Rein, Jerry Short, Susan Squillace, William Petri, Meg Keeley, Pamila Herrington, Eugene Corbett, Benjamin Schalet, William Wilson, Darci Lieb,Willliam Herbert
The Clinical Medicine Committee met on Thursday, February 28, 2002 at 4PM in the Peds-Pathology Conference Room. Following introductions of those present, including Dr. Meg Keeley, who will assume the Directorship of the Clinical Electives Program, the discussion focused on the forms currently used by the 3rd year clerkships (plus neurology) for the evaluation of medical students. Copies of all of the forms (except for Surgery) were distributed to the group for their review, along with a synopsis of content items and overall scoring systems used by the clerkships. It was noted that the Surgery form is similar to that
used on Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics. Dr. Don Innes commented on the need for consistency of evaluation processes between different sites of a particular clerkship, and even among clerkships, as well as the need for more timely feedback and assessment of students. The possibility of making the evaluations "web-based" was mentioned.

Dr. Michael Rein provided a review of the evolution of the evaluation forms and scales used by the Medicine clerkship. The currently used 9-point scale was felt to give better differentiation among students in terms of their clinical performance, although there is a tendency for these scores to cluster. The written exam only counts for 25% of the final grade on that clerkship, but tends to "spread" the students more than their clinical evaluations. While there are specific items for comment on the Medicine form, as well as space for narrative comment, the "overall evaluation" at the bottom of the form is the one used in determining the grade. A similar approach is used on several other clerkships. The Family Medicine Clerkship and the AIM portion of the Medicine clerkship use an average of the scores on individual items and do not ask for an "overall assessment". There was discussion of the merits of each approach.

Dr. Allison Innes mentioned that there were soon to be nation-wide changes in the format of the Dean's letter for residency application, with less "editing" of clerkship comments on the part of the writer of those letters. This will place even greater emphasis on the clerkship evaluations (both those provided by individual faculty and residents and the "official" evaluation/grading form provided by the Clerkship Director).

There was also discussion of the practice of "group grading" that occurs on some segments of some clerkships. In general, it was felt that evaluations should be done on an individual basis. However, the segments of clerkships that do submit a "group evaluation" generally represent a small fraction of the total clinical evaluation.

One of the students present mentioned that students appreciated some form of "key" or "legend" to aid in interpretation of numerical scores that are offered. That is also helpful in guiding faculty and house staff in their evaluations of students.

The Clerkship Directors were asked to look over the forms provided. They will be contacted in several weeks, and an ad hoc committee will be formed to develop a prototype "standard" evaluation for further discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 5 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
William G. Wilson, MD
Chair, Clinical Medicine Committee