University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Reliability of the physical medicine and rehabilitation resident observation and competency assessment tool: a multi-institution study


Musick DW, Bockenek WL, Massagli TL, Miknevich MA, Poduri KR, Sliwa JA, Steiner M



Publication Info:

American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 89(3):235-244


OBJECTIVES: To assess the psychometric qualities of a method of resident physician evaluation by faculty.
DESIGN: Multicenter study by seven Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation training programs. Faculty physicians observed residents in brief patient encounters or teaching sessions, rated specific competencies, and provided residents with immediate feedback. The resident observation and competency assessment form included competencies in patient care, professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, systems-based practice, and practice-based learning and improvement. Residents and faculty rated satisfaction with the process.
RESULTS: Three hundred sixty-two ratings were completed on 88 different residents. Each resident received an average of 3.8 ratings across two academic years. Overall internal consistency reliability was high (0.98); reliability of the individual competencies ranged from 0.74 to 0.76. Item means were correlated with year of training for two skill sets, with higher means for more experienced residents. The majority of participants gave high ratings of satisfaction; correlation between satisfaction ratings of attending and resident physicians was 0.63 (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The resident observation and competency assessment is a reliable method to assess resident skills in five of six general competencies. Construct validity of the tool is supported by the fact that faculty rated two skill sets higher for senior residents.

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