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The Use of Rubrics in the Clinical Evaluation of Podiatric Medical Students

Objectification of the Subjective Experience

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  • 1 College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.
  • | 2 College of Health Sciences, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.
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Background: We assessed the differences in podiatric medical students' clinical professionalism objective scores (CPOSs) by comparing a previous nonrubric evaluation tool with a more recently implemented objective-centered rubric evaluation tool. This type of study has never been performed or reported on in the podiatric medical education literature.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 89 third-year podiatric medical students between academic years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. A Pearson correlation coefficient analysis was performed to compare CPOSs from the students' first (CPOS1) and second (CPOS2) rotations. A correlation analysis was performed comparing students' grade point averages (GPAs) with each of the individual CPOSs to verify the validity of the rubric evaluation tool.

Results: The Pearson correlation coefficients for the relationship between 2012 CPOS1 and CPOS2 and GPA were r = 0.233 (P ≤ .093) and r = 0.290 (P < .035) and for the relationship between 2013 CPOS1 and CPOS2 and GPA were r = 0.525 (P = .001) and r = 0.730 (P < .001).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the use of a rubric in the evaluation of podiatric medical students' CPOSs is correlated with their GPAs, and CPOS2 demonstrated a higher correlation than CPOS1. We believe that implementation of the rubric evaluation tool has increased the accuracy of the evaluation of podiatric medical students with respect to CPOSs.

Corresponding author: Kevin M. Smith, DPM, MS, College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, 3200 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312. (E-mail: kevin.smith@dmu.edu)