A comparison of free-response and cued-response diagnosis scores in an evaluation of clinical competence utilizing standardized patients
Department of Medicine; Office of Medical Education; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
*Clinical Clerkship; *Clinical Competence; Cues; *Diagnosis; *Education, Medical, Undergraduate; *Educational Measurement; Humans; Physical Examination
Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Medical Education | Preventative Medicine | Primary Care
Evaluation of clinical competence as assessed by standardized patients has been extensively reported in the literature. The methods used to document student performance and derive scores vary among investigators and include free- and cued-response items. Standardized patients (SPs), students, or faculty observers may complete the paperwork. The extent to which these different methods are comparable in obtaining similar diagnosis scores is the focus of this paper. In the summer of 1989 we compared two different formats for evaluating diagnostic skills during an ongoing assessment of clinical skills of fourth-year medical students. The questions addressed were: 1. Is there a difference between what the SP records as the diagnosis given to him or her by the student and what the student records as having told the SP? Is there a difference in this information as recorded by a faculty observer? 2. Is there a relationship between diagnosis scores generated from free- and cued-response items? How do each of these correlate with the data the student collects from the SP? 3. Is there a difference in the range of diagnosis scores between free- and cued-response formats?