Final-year medical students' self-assessment of facets of competence for beginning residents


BACKGROUND: Final-year undergraduate medical students often do not feel well prepared for their start of residency training. Self-assessment of competences is important so that medical trainees can take responsibility for their learning. In this study, we investigated how final-year medical students self-assessed their competences as they neared their transition to postgraduate training. The aim was to identify areas for improvement in undergraduate training.

METHODS: In the academic year 2019/2020, a national online survey was sent to final-year undergraduate medical students via their respective medical schools. The survey included ten facets of competence (FOC) most relevant for beginning residents. The participants were asked to self-assess their competence for each FOC on a 5-point Likert scale (1: strongly disagree to 5: strongly agree). We established an order of self-assessed FOC performance by means and calculated paired t-tests. Gender differences were assessed with independent t-tests.

RESULTS: A total of 1083 students from 35 medical schools completed the questionnaire. Mean age was 27.2 ± 3.1 years and 65.8% were female. Students rated their performance highest in the FOCs 'Teamwork and collegiality' and 'Empathy and openness' (97.1 and 95.0% 'strongly agree' or 'agree', respectively) and lowest in 'Verbal communication with colleagues and supervisors' and 'Scientifically and empirically grounded method of working' (22.8 and 40.2% 'strongly disagree', 'disagree', or 'neither agree nor disagree', respectively). Women rated their performance of 'Teamwork and collegiality', 'Empathy and openness', and 'Knowing and maintaining own personal bounds and possibilities' significantly higher than men did (Cohen's d > .2), while men showed higher self-assessed performance in 'Scientifically and empirically grounded method of working' than women (Cohen's d = .38). The FOCs 'Responsibility', 'Knowing and maintaining own personal bounds and possibilities', 'Structure, work planning, and priorities', 'Coping with mistakes', and 'Scientifically and empirically grounded method of working' revealed lower self-assessed performance than the order of FOC relevance established by physicians for beginning residents.

CONCLUSIONS: The differences between the level of students' self-assessed FOC performance and physicians' ranking of FOC relevance revealed areas for improvement in undergraduate medical education related to health system sciences. Final-year students might benefit from additional or better training in management skills, professionalism, and evidence-based medicine. Surveys of self-assessed competences may be useful to monitor competence development during undergraduate training.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 07.02.2022

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© 2022. The Author(s).

PubMed 35130891