November 1987

A Diagnostic Fourth-Year Performance Assessment

Author Affiliations

Fourth-Year Performance Assessment Task Force Group

From the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester (Drs Stillman and Regan); and the American Board of Internal Medicine, Philadelphia (Dr Swanson). The Fourth-Year Performance Assessment Task Force includes Richard Aghababian, MD; Jack Ansell, MD; Neil Aronin, MD; Canan Avunduk, MD; Jeffrey Bernhard, MD; David Chad, MD; Stephen Cohen, MD; Frederick Curley, MD; William Damon, MD; David Garfield, MD; John Gittinger, MD; John Herrmann, MD; Joan Hoffmann, PhD; Lynn Li, MD; Marcia Liepman, MD; Ira Ockene, MD; John Paraskos, MD; Michelle Pugnaire, MD; Mai-Lan Rogoff, MD; John Stock, MD; Jeffrey Stoff, MD; Steven Strongwater, MD; Allender Sybert, MD; and Cynthia Umali, MD, University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(11):1981-1985. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370110109016

• The University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, attempted to develop a standardized, performance-based test battery aimed directly at assessing the critical aspects of clinical competence required for graduation from medical school. The battery used a blend of standardized patient-based and written test materials and was designed to yield a profile of scores, providing a "diagnosis" of student strengths and weaknesses on a skill-by-skill basis. Results indicate that a stable, reproducible assessment of clinical skills can be achieved in a one-to two-day test battery, depending on the specific skills measured. The resulting score profile provides faculty with important information about the clinical competence of students that is not readily available from other sources, thus improving the breadth and accuracy of student assessment. A long-term goal is that performance-based testing techniques will be incorporated into the licensure process to evaluate clinical skills and ensure the competence of graduating physicians.

(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:1981-1985)