Using Patient Feedback as a Feedback and Assessment Tool for Medical Students

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OBJECTIVE:To improve the quality of feedback and assessment of medical students through a patient satisfaction questionnaire about student performance.METHODS:To measure student performance from the patient’s perspective, five items were adopted from the validated Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire from the American Board of Internal Medicine. This was used to assess medical student skills in communication and professionalism, which were rated on a five-point Likert scale. All 3rd-year medical students rotating through the OBGYN clerkship participated in these unsupervised patient feedback encounters. Students then were asked to anonymously respond to a two-item questionnaire on usefulness of the patients’ feedback encounter and whether this process improved feedback that faculty provided to students.EVALUATION:This is a survey study; 65% (53 out of 81) of students found the patient feedback encounters helpful and 51% (34 out of 67) thought that the exercise encouraged preceptors to provide useful feedback.DISSEMINATION:The goal is to implement this feedback tool locally in the OBGYN Clerkship as well as other clerkships in our institution. The intention is to publish the results in peer-reviewed journal for wider dissemination.REFLECTIVE CRITIQUE:Providing feedback and assessment is an essential element of medical education. Feedback to medical students regarding their performance is usually provided by preceptors and standardized patients in simulated encounters. Little attention has been given to feedback provided directly by actual patients. Comments provided by patients have more positive impact compared to numerical rating. Empowering patients to participate in feedback improves the quality of feedback to students.

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