Student self-assessment versus preceptor assessment at the midpoint of a family medicine clerkship

Objective: To study how student self-assessment compared with the faculty’s assessment on our family medicine clerkship and to explore the effect of demographic factors on the ratings.

Methods: Students and their faculty preceptors assessed the students’ achievement of clerkship objectives at mid clerkship. We performed Mann-Whitney U tests to compare student ratings and faculty ratings for each clerkship objective. We performed linear regression analyses to investigate the effect of medical school year and student sex on student ratings and the effect of sex concordance or sex difference of the faculty-student pair on faculty ratings.

Results: Two hundred one students completed the family medicine clerkship between July 2015 and June 2016. Faculty ratings were higher than student ratings for all 12 clerkship objectives (P<0.05 for all comparisons). Third-year students rated themselves higher than second-year students for nine of the clerkship objectives. There was no difference in student ratings between female students and male students and no difference in faculty ratings whether there was a sex-concordant or a sex-different preceptor-student pair.

Discussion: Our findings add to the knowledge of the mid-clerkship feedback process offered by different clerkships. Further study is needed to investigate how students use this feedback to improve for the remainder of the clerkship.