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Interns reflect: the effect of formative assessment with feedback during pre-internship

Authors McKenzie S, Burgess A, Mellis C

Received 7 June 2016

Accepted for publication 29 September 2016

Published 11 January 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 51—56


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Azim Majumder

Susan McKenzie,1 Annette Burgess,2 Craig Mellis1

1Central Clinical School, 2Education Office, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Background: It is widely known that the opportunity for medical students to be observed and to receive feedback on their procedural skills performance is variable in the senior years. To address this problem, we provided our Pre-Intern (PrInt) students with “one-to-one” formative feedback on their ability to perform urethral catheterization (U/C) and hypothesized that their future practice of U/C as interns would benefit. This study sought to evaluate the performance and practice of interns in U/C 4–5 months after having received feedback on their performance of U/C as PrInt students.
Methods: Between 2013 and 2014, two cohorts of interns, (total n=66) who had received recent formative feedback on their U/C performance as PrInt students at Central Clinical School, were invited to complete an anonymous survey. The survey contained nine closed unvalidated questions and one open-ended question, designed to allow interns to report on their current practice of U/C.
Results: Forty-one out of 66 interns (62%) completed the survey. Thirty-five out of 41 respondents (85%) reported that the assessment with feedback during their PrInt term was beneficial to their practice. Thirty of 41 (73%) reported being confident to perform U/C independently. Eleven out of 41 respondents (27%) reported that they had received additional training at intern orientation. Nine of the 11 interns (82%) reported that they had a small, but a significant, increase in confidence to perform U/C when compared with the 30 of the 41 respondents (73%) who had not (p=0.03).
Conclusion: Our results substantiate our hypothesis that further education by assessment with feedback in U/C during PrInt was of benefit to interns’ performance. Additional educational reinforcement in U/C during intern orientation further improved intern confidence. Our results indicate that extra pre- and post-graduation procedural skills training, with feedback, should be universal.

Keywords: formative assessment with feedback, performance and practice of new interns, medical interns, urinary catheterization, pre-intern students

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