September 2017

Use Direct Observation for Easier Student Evaluations

Direct observation of a medical student takes time and effort. But rather than having your student present a case to you after a patient visit has occurred, consider choosing several patient encounters per week in which you can watch a student work with the patient. Not only will you be able to give formative feedback to your student immediately following the encounter, but you will also establish a baseline and be able to observe and note improvements during the clerkship that will make it easier to write your student evaluations. 

According to Ross et al, “Direct observation and feedback is noted to enhance interpersonal, communication, physical exam, history taking, medical decision making, and time management skills.” Regular direct observation of your students is a powerful and effective tool for improving the quality of their patient visits while providing meaningful context to your summative evaluations. 

More About Student Evaluation:

Visit the Evaluation section for guidelines on planning and completing evaluations that are accurate and meaningful.