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March 1960

The Objective Assessment of Clinical Judgment in Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in residence) (Dr. Geertsma); Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Dr. Stoller), University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(3):278-285. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590090034007

We have previously reported a method for constructing an objective final examination to assess clinical judgment in psychiatry.1 The data we are now reporting were collected in an initial effort to test the usefulness and the promise of this type of technique. Since there is great need in psychiatry for the application of appropriate objective methods to the study of clinical phenomena, this type of technique might find many uses in psychiatry other than as a final examination for medical students. In this report we shall concern ourselves with the general problems of assessing clinical judgment in evaluating psychopathology.

Since the above-mentioned assessment procedure occupies the focus of attention here and was the instrument used in gathering the data to be reported, let us begin with a summary of the technique. Two spontaneous, 30-minute psychiatric interviews of emotionally ill patients were filmed.* Five instructors

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