Assessment of obstetrics-gynecology residents' ability to integrate clinical judgment, interpersonal skills, and technical ability in a uniform fashion is required to document achievement of benchmarks of competency. An observed structured clinical examination that incorporates simulation and bench models uses direct observation of performance to generate formative feedback and standardized evaluation.
The Test of Integrated Professional Skills (TIPS) is a 5-station performance-based assessment that uses standardized patients and complex scenarios involving ultrasonography, procedural skills, and evidence-based medicine. Standardized patients and faculty rated residents by using behaviorally anchored checklists. Mean scores reflecting performance in TIPS were compared across competency domains and by developmental level (using analysis of variance) and then compared to standard faculty clinical evaluations (using Spearman ρ). Participating faculty and residents were also asked to evaluate the usefulness of the TIPS.
Twenty-four residents participated in the TIPS. Checklist items used to assess competency were sufficiently reliable, with Cronbach α estimates from 0.69 to 0.82. Performance improved with level of training, with wide variation in performance. Standard faculty evaluations did not correlate with TIPS performance. Several residents who were rated as average or above average by faculty performed poorly on the TIPS (> 1 SD below the mean). Both faculty and residents found the TIPS format useful, providing meaningful evaluation and opportunity for feedback.
A simulation-based observed structured clinical examination facilitates observation of a range of skills, including competencies that are difficult to observe and measure in a standardized way. Debriefing with faculty provides an important interface for identification of performance gaps and individualization of learning plans.