Using an innovative curriculum evaluation tool to inform program improvement: the clinical skills fair.
BACKGROUND: Program evaluation is important for assessing the effectiveness of the residency curriculum. Limited resources are available, however, and curriculum evaluation processes must be sustainable and well integrated into program improvement efforts. INTERVENTION: We describe the pediatric Clinical Skills Fair, an innovative method for evaluating the effectiveness of residency curriculum through assessment of trainees in 2 domains: medical knowledge/patient care and procedure. Each year from 2008 to 2011, interns completed the Clinical Skills Fair as rising interns in postgraduate year (PGY)-1 (R1s) and again at the end of the year, as rising residents in PGY-2 (R2s). Trainees completed the Clinical Skills Fair at the beginning and end of the intern year for each cohort to assess how well the curriculum prepared them to meet the intern goals and objectives. RESULTS: Participants were 48 R1s and 47 R2s. In the medical knowledge/patient care domain, intern scores improved from 48% to 65% correct (P < .001). Significant improvement was demonstrated in the following subdomains: jaundice (41% to 65% correct; P < .001), fever (67% to 94% correct; P < .001), and asthma (43% to 62% correct; P = .002). No significant change was noted within the arrhythmia subdomain. There was significant improvement in the procedure domain for all interns (χ(2) = 32.82, P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The Clinical Skills Fair is a readily implemented and sustainable method for our residency program curriculum assessment. Its feasibility may allow other programs to assess their curriculum and track the impact of programmatic changes; it may be particularly useful for program evaluation committees.
Narayan, AP; Whicker, SA; Staples, BB; Bookman, J; Bartlett, KW; McGann, KA
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