Purpose: To examine whether or not aggregated self-assessment data of clerkship readiness can provide meaningful sources of information to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational program.
Method: The 39-item Readiness for Clerkship survey was developed during academic year 2009–2010 using several key competence documents and expert review. The survey was completed by two cohorts of students (179 from the class of 2011 in February 2010, 171 from the class of 2012 in November 2010) and of clinical preceptors (384 for class of 2011 preceptors, 419 for class of 2012 preceptors). Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlations coefficients, ANOVA, and generalizability and decision studies were used to determine whether ratings could differentiate between different aspects of a training program.
Results: When self-assessments were aggregated across students, their judgments aligned very well with those of faculty raters. The correlation of average scores, calculated for each item between faculty and students, was r = 0.88 for 2011 and r = 0.91 for 2012. This was only slightly lower than the near-perfect correlations of item averages within groups across successive years (r = 0.99 for faculty; r = 0.98 for students). Generalizability and decision analyses revealed that one can achieve interrater reliability in this domain with fewer students (9–21) than faculty (26–45).
Conclusions: These results provide evidence that, when aggregated, student self-assessment data from the Readiness for Clerkship Survey provide valid data for use in program evaluation that align well with an external standard.