A comparison of objective and subjective measures of clinical competence

Debra A. DaRosa*, Beth Dawson-Saunders, Roland Folse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if objective performance measures from a simulated patient practical examination were related to faculty subjective assessments of surgery students' performance. Another purpose was to determine if those students performing well on a simulated patient practical examination were the same students awarded honor ratings by faculty. Faculty ratings of students (n = 72) on history taking ability, physical exam skills, problem identification, use of investigations, problem integration, patient management, and patient relations skills were correlated with objective measures on these same criteria achieved on a practical exam employing three simulated patient cases. Correlations were also calculated to study the relationship between practical exam scores and honor rating recipients. Results indicated significant relationships between faculty subjective ratings and practical exam outcomes on all practical examination skills except physical exam skills and patient management skills. Findings also indicated the performance of honor students on the practical examination was significantly better than non-honor students on two skills: history-taking and patient relations. The implications of these research findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-330
Number of pages4
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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