Do Simulation-Based Skill Exercises and Post-Encounter Notes Add Additional Value to a Standardized Patient-Based Clinical Skills Examination?
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AbstractBackground. Standardized patient (SP) clinical assessments have limited utility in assessing higher-level clinical competencies. This study explores the value of including simulation exercises and postencounter notes in an SP clinical skills examination. Methods. Two exercises involving cardiac auscultation and ophthalmic funduscopy simulations along with written post encounter notes were added to an SP-based performance examination. Descriptive analyses of students' performance and correlations with SP-based performance measures were obtained. Results. Students' abilities to detect abnormalities on physical exam were highly variable. There were no correlations between SP-based and simulation-derived measures of physical examination competency. Limited correlations were found between students' abilities to perform and document physical examinations and their formulation of appropriate differential diagnoses. Conclusions. Clinical simulation exercises add depth to SP-based assessments of performance. Evaluating the content of post encounter notes offers some insight into students' integrative abilities, and this appears to be improved by the addition of simulation-based post encounter skill exercises. However, further refinement of this methodology is needed.