All 2 entries tagged Assessment

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April 15, 2009

Teaching the Teachers?: US vs the UK (andTwitter? )

I'm set to interview medical students from the US and the UK to try and identify differences in attitudes, beliefs and assessment systems from perspectives from each side of the Atlantic.

Im quite excited about htis for a number of reasons. It will hopefully back up research that I'm currently carrying out at warwick into the attitudes of medical students to teaching the teachers. This is run from a site I've set up specifically  for NHS research. This study (foillowing ethical approval) is ongoing.

Although we have >1000 registered students to my sister medical education site, the majority are from the UK. More importantly, the first US based student to be interviewed does not come from this fraternity, but in fact via my twitter page , after following my comments on medical education there.

There's been alot of discussion on Twitter on the WB site from a number of different perspectives, I think this is where it really gets interesting. No sign of linkedin here!

I have a reason to be a fan of international medical students, as I owe a lot of the success of Medical Educator to the free, unsolicited assistance of a number fo the Web2.0 personalities.

I really am a fan of Twitter and have made some useful acquaintances from Finland, Bulgaria, and the US, probably most importantly Berci Mesco, who runs a blog (google page rank of 7/10, which is on a par with some universities (Warwicks intranet page rank is currently 7/10) about medical education and has featured in  Nature Medicine and a number of other high profile interviews (mine not included). As a 'friend' i cite him for a major exposure of our own site- having featured us for no reason.

If any medical students would like to feature in the article (from Warwick or other universities in the UK or Europe), please email me at

Dies anyone else feel that theres any point in doing this, or is it just me? Id love to survey medical student's in the US with the same questions, and I believe the best chance of finding a contact in the US is either through Twitter, or my blog here.

November 02, 2008

Reflections on Assessment

As part of my MSc here in  Warwick I have been asked to reflect on assessment that I have experienced and my own reflections on these.

I surprised myself by really considering only those assessments that were formative, as these were the only assessments that seemed to stick in my mind. True I've been subject to a number of summative assessments in the past through my medical training, but although they were some of the interactions that mattered most to me as a clinician, in terms of my career and future prospects they are also those that in hard tangible terms mattered the least.

Take the praise from a Vascular surgeon, putting my position opr my ranking as "one of the best", and my pride in this. The indignation of being asked to justify continuing as a trainee in the very hospital I had excelled in, worked for and committed so much time to: outrage at being penalised for success in my previous summative examinations.

"you might go and get an SPR job" before I had even sat the most important assessment of all in my career to date, the MRCP examination.

Yes the MRCP, the exam that I passed, so clearly and held so much pride and belief in, only to see it pass by the wayside as candidates that I felt were "not fit" seemed to walk through the exam with lacklustre knowledge. The same exam that I cherished became less of a trophy and more of a disappointment at times.

What about the people I have assessed?  The DOPS Mini CEX, CBD, 360 degree appraisal of my own trainees. My own trainees whose flaws and shining examples of innovation and commitment were so much more important than a piece of paper regarding urethral catherisation. The unfair selection of marks, some given out freely, others so cautiously that there is no real standard.

Assessment is improving, but unfortunately the people who "know" who the  failing and shining trainees are are still not being asked. There are some things that can't be measured with a tick box.

The very priorities that drive junior doctors towards these assessments can sometimes count against them. I feel more inclined to support a doctor who puts his patients first and his assessment forms second.

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