Medical EducationCOMMENTARY

Relationships Between Clinical Rotation Subscores, COMLEX-USA Examination Results, and School-Based Performance Measures

Michael K. Cope, PhD; Helen H. Baker, PhD, MBA; Robert W. Foster, DO; and Craig S. Boisvert, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: April 3, 2006

Accepted: August 2, 2006

Published: November 1, 2007

J Osteopath Med; 107(11): 502-510

At the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) in Lewisburg, an electronic rating form was created to assist preceptors in evaluating student performance for third- and fourth-year clinical rotations. Multiple preceptors, often in rural locations, rated the clinical performance of 70 students in the WVSOM graduating class of 2005. The current study analyzes these ratings. Using Cronbach α, subscore reliability coefficients were obtained for all rotations: clinical knowledge, 0.80; data collection, 0.59; application of knowledge, 0.65; and professionalism, 0.78. For the three required family medicine rotations, which were almost always supervised by osteopathic physicians, reliability of the rating for osteopathic principles and practice (OPP) was 0.44. Intercorrelations among these five subscores ranged from 0.46 to 0.94, all statistically significant at the .01 level. Ratings for the five subscores were compared with 19 measures of student performance in other parts of the WVSOM curriculum, many correlations were significant at the .01 level. Clinical knowledge correlated 0.59 with year 2 grade point average (GPA), 0.51 with years 1 and 2 OPP GPA, 0.50 with Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination USA Level 2 Cognitive Evaluation, and 0.45 with years 1 and 2 physical diagnosis GPA. Application of knowledge correlated 0.55 with year 2 GPA and 0.50 with the organization score on the college’s year 3 objective structured clinical evaluation. Professionalism correlated 0.51 with year 2 GPA and 0.49 with OPP years 1 and 2 written examination score. The average preceptor rating using the new electronic form was 92.6, compared with 96.8 when the previous paper-based form was used for the WVSOM class of 1998 (change significant at .05 level). These moderate correlations provide some support for the validity of the Clinical Education Grade Form.

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