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N Engl J Med 2007 Epstein

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The n e w e ng l a n d j o u r na l of m e dic i n e Review article Medical Education Malcolm Cox, M.D., and David M. Irby, Ph.D., Editors Assessment in Medical Education Ronald M. Epstein, M.D. As an attending physician working with a student for a week, you receive a form that asks you to evaluate the student’s fund of knowledge, procedural skills, professionalism, interest in learning, and “systems-based practice.” You wonder which of these attributes you can reliably assess and how the data you provide will be used to further the student’s education. You also wonder whether other tests of knowledge and competence that students must undergo before they enter practice are equally problematic. I n one way or another, most practicing physicians are involved in assessing the competence of trainees, peers, and other health professionals. As the example above suggests, however, they may not be as comfortable using educational assessment tools as they are using more clinically focused diagnostic tests. This article provides a conceptual framework for and a brief update on commonly used and emerging methods of assessment, discusses the strengths and limitations of each method, and identifies several challenges in the assessment of physicians’ professional competence and performance. From the Departments of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, and Oncology and the Rochester Center to Improve Communication in Health Care, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dent ...
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