The use of mini-CEX in UK foundation training six years following its introduction: lessons still to be learned and the benefit of formal teaching regarding its utility.
KeywordsClinical Competence, Confidence Intervals, Education, Medical, Graduate, Educational Measurement, Feedback, Female, Great Britain, Humans, Male, Surveys and Questionnaires
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AbstractBACKGROUND: The mini-clinical evaluation exercise (mini-CEX) is a widely used tool with a strong theoretical basis. It was introduced to UK foundation training in 2005. AIMS: To assess current experiences, opinions and attitudes towards mini-CEX amongst foundation doctors, and explore what factors underpin these. METHODS: Data were collected from foundation trainees via an on-line questionnaire. RESULTS: Ninety-eight per cent of respondents had used mini-CEX during FY1, however, only 32% had ever received formal teaching regarding its use. In terms of understanding of the purpose of mini-CEX, only 30% of trainees commented on there being a formative aspect or requirement for feedback. The majority of trainees did not feel that mini-CEX was a useful part of their training. The main themes were the poor attitude and understanding of assessors and difficulties finding sufficient time. However, those who had received formal teaching as students regarding the use of mini-CEX were significantly more likely as postgraduates to find it beneficial (p = 0.031). CONCLUSIONS: A more concerted effort to educate trainees and assessors regarding the correct use of mini-CEX will enhance its educational value. Increased education during undergraduate training regarding use of formative assessment may lead to more effective utilisation in the postgraduate setting.