Using the Readiness for Clerkship and Residency Surveys to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Four MD Programs: A Cross-Institutional Generalizability Study

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Abstract

Purpose

The importance of confidence for learning and performance makes learners’ perceptions of readiness for the next level of training valuable indicators of curricular success. The “Readiness for Clerkship” (RfC) and “Readiness for Residency” (RfR) surveys have been shown to provide reliable ratings of the relative effectiveness of various aspects of training. This study examines the generalizability of those results.

Method

Surveys were administered at four medical schools approximately four months after the start of clerkship and eight months after the start of residency during 2013–2015. Collected data were anonymized. A total of 647 medical students and 483 residents participated.

Results

Reliabilities of G = 0.8 could be obtained with only 6 to 12 medical students and 8 to 15 residents. Within MD programs, no meaningful differences in item ratings were observed across cohorts. Residents in each school consistently rated themselves higher than clerks on the majority of Medical Expert and Communicator competencies common to both surveys. Similar strengths and weaknesses were identified across programs, but differences were observed on five clerkship items and one residency item.

Conclusions

Across four MD programs, the RfC and RfR surveys provided reliable ratings of the relative effectiveness of aspects of training with small numbers of respondents. The capacity of these surveys to efficiently identify perceived strengths and weaknesses held by cohorts of learners may, thereby, facilitate program improvement.

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