New directions in medical student clerkship evaluations
Purpose: To compare the number of requested medical student evaluations with mean evaluation scores and final clerkship grades.
Background: The University of Iowa Obstetrics & Gynecology (OBGYN) clerkship requires six evaluations for each student: two assigned and four requested by the student. Many students request more evaluations than required, contributing to a backlog that slows the grading process.
Methods: Medical student evaluations from 2014 to 2016 were analyzed. Three groups were created based on the number of evaluations an individual student received. Group 1 received 3-4 evaluations (73), Group 2 received 5-6 evaluations (240) and Group 3 received 7-16 evaluations (222). A paired T-test compared mean evaluation scores and a chi-square test was used to compare mean shelf exam scores and percentages of pass, near honors, and honors grades.
Results: A total of 535 independent students and their evaluations were reviewed for the study. The difference in mean evaluation scores for groups 1 and 2 and groups 2 and 3 were statistically significant (p < 0.01, p= 0.02, respectively). The differences in mean shelf grades between groups 1 and 2 and groups 2 and 3 were not significant (p > 0.05). Similarly, the differences in rates of pass, near honors, and honors grades between groups were not statistically significant (p > 0.05).
Discussion: Increased number of requested evaluations did not translate to differences in rates of pass, near honors, and honors grades for medical students on their OBGYN clerkship, indicating that decreasing the mandatory evaluations per student would not be detrimental to student outcomes and would potentially expedite the grading process.