Faculty Physicians Given Tools to Assess Medical Residents' Clinical Competencies

In 2001 and 2002, investigators at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., developed a training program to provide faculty physicians in internal medicine residency programs with evaluation tools and training in the skills needed to assess the clinical competencies of residents under their supervision.

Under this project, investigators carried out a pilot study to determine the feasibility of the training program.

Forty clinician educators participated in the pilot study. They were divided into an intervention group and a control group.

The intervention group attended an intensive four-day training course. The control group were given copies of a toolkit, but did not attend the training course. Both groups were asked to record their individual and program goals.

Key Findings

  • A follow-up survey indicated that 13 of 14 intervention group faculty had met their personal goals, and the fourteenth participant felt he had made "significant progress" as a result of the project.
  • Nine of 17 faculty members of the control group had not met their personal goals, and only two individuals had actually used some of the evaluation tools from the toolkit. (Nine members of the study failed to respond on follow-up or responded late.)
  • According to the investigators, these results support the original hypothesis that without adequate training, done in conjunction with a colleague, meaningful change in skills and behavior is less likely.