Improving Clerkship Feedback With a New Evaluation form, a Retrospective Comparison

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Local Mentor:

Abigail Wolf, MD

APGO Advisor:

Lee Learman, MD, PhD


To determine if a new evaluation process resulted in longer student evaluations by faculty.


After receiving IRB exemption a retrospective review of completed evaluations from third year obstetrics and gynecology clerkship students was completed. All students at a single institution were included from two academic years for 526 total evaluations. The control group was evaluated with a standard institutional form. The intervention group received a supplemental evaluation that the students distributed electronically to individual faculty they worked with. Student t-test and Chi squared analysis compared the word counts, the clinical grades, and the word count by location of the rotation. Grade distribution between the two years was also analyzed.


The length of the comments increased by 49% (144 words to 216), two-tailed P-value <.01. Analyzing clinical grades showed: “good” comments decreased by 17% (162 to 134), “excellent” comments increased by 69% (110 to 186), “honors” comments increased by 61% (165 to 267). Nine of the ten sites showed word count increases ranging from 20-198%. Grade distribution showed no change in the clinical grade of “good”, the clinical grade of “excellent” decreased from 66% to 59% of the class and “honors” increased from 29% to 36%. No students received a marginal or failing grade.


Changing the evaluation process yielded longer comments from the obstetrics and gynecology clerkship. Students with higher clinical grades had the longest comments; students with the lowest clinical grade had the shortest comments. This may reflect that it is easier to give positive than negative feedback. With the intervention, a higher proportion of students received the clinical grade of honors.

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