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Relationship Between Academic Performance and Student Self-Assessment of Clinical Performance in the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery

Robert M. Yoho College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.

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Vassilios Vardaxis College of Health Sciences-Physical Therapy, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.

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Kelsey Millonig College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA.

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Background: Student self-assessment is viewed as an important tool in medical education. We sought to identify the relationship between student academic performance and third-year clinical performance self-assessment. No such study exists in podiatric medical education.

Methods: Third-year podiatric medical students from the classes of 2012 through 2014 completed a self-assessment of their performance for each of five broad clinical podiatric medical domains (Professionalism, Medicine, Radiology, Surgery, and Biomechanics/Orthopedics). The assessment was completed after students finished the first 12 weeks of their third-year clinical rotations (PRE) and a second time at the conclusion of the third year (POST). The mean self-assessment score for PRE and POST surveys for all combined domains was determined for each student. This mean was compared with the student's 3-year cumulative grade point average (GPA). Students' clinical experiences for the year were essentially identical.

Results: No statistically significant correlation was identified between cumulative GPA and the PRE and POST clinical self-assessments or with the change between PRE and POST assessments based on the Pearson correlation test for each class separately or on the pooled data.

Conclusions: Published studies in allopathic medical education have shown that students with lower GPAs tend to rate their clinical performance higher in initial clinical performance self-assessment. Our results show that student academic performance was not correlated with clinical performance self-assessment. These findings may be due to the explicit description of successful clinical competency completion, the orientation students receive before the start of clinical training, and the continuous feedback received from clinical preceptors.

Corresponding author: Robert M. Yoho, DPM, MS, College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University, 3200 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312. (E-mail: robert.yoho@dmu.edu)