Positive effects of a clinical performance assessment program

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine; Office of Medical Education; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



*Clinical Competence; Education, Medical, Undergraduate; Massachusetts; *Program Evaluation


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Medical Education | Preventive Medicine | Primary Care


Since 1986, there has been a clinical performance assessment program for fourth-year students at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Students interact with several standardized patients (SPs) and complete other tasks such as interpretation of electrocardiograms and interpretation of X-rays. Scores are generated both by checklists and rating forms completed by the SPs and by paperwork completed by the students at the end of each encounter. Since 1986, students have been asked how frequently they have been observed by faculty and residents as they interacted with actual patients; the students report that such observations have markedly increased. Since 1989, there has been increased feedback to students by the attending faculty during and following clinical rotations. Although it is difficult to claim cause and effect, it is clear that since the inception of this exercise, the faculty have made a conscious effort to improve students' clinical skills by providing increased observation and feedback.


Acad Med. 1991 Aug;66(8):481-3.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed