Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Self assessment and feedback in complex clinical skills

Focusing on the skills in which University of Edinburgh medical graduates from the last three years have felt least prepared: prescribing, and the provision of care to acutely unwell patients.

Principal applicant: Dr Vicky Tallentire

Additional team members:

  • Dr Sam Smith, College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr Janet Skinner, School of Clinical Sciences & Community Health
  • Professor Morwenna Wood, NHS
  • Dr Helen Cameron, College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

Abstract

Existing evidence, both nationally and locally, suggests that medical students feel poorly prepared in skills that, for various legal and patient safety reasons, are rarely undertaken prior to qualification.

This research project will focus on the skills in which University of Edinburgh medical graduates from the last three years have felt least prepared: prescribing, and the provision of care to acutely unwell patients. The study aims to explore University of Edinburgh medical students' competence and self-assessment abilities in various domains of these skills.

The purposes of the project are threefold:

  • to improve feedback to students during clinical teaching
  • to inform the design of the MBChB Student Assistantship to be introduced at the University of Edinburgh in March 2012 as required by the General Medical Council
  • to improve our graduates' preparedness for practice

Final year students' competence in prescribing and acute care will be assessed using tools specifically developed to offer individualised and focused feedback. The research will include an investigation of the reliability, validity and feasibility of the tools.

The results of the assessments in both skills will be compared with the students' own assessments of their performance in each domain and the comparison will be used to measure students' self-assessment abilities.

The research outcomes will be used to develop strategies for delivering feedback in these skills, which may be transferable to other complex clinical skills. In addition, the information will inform the design of the Student Assistantship and guide related staff development initiatives.