Evaluating professional competence

WC McGaghie Office of Medical Education, Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611-3008.

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Professional competence evaluation should involve attention to its intellectual and social context, and not just worry about technical fine points. The author frames professional competence evaluation broadly, containing sections on social issues, conceptual problems, and technical matters. The author uses illustrations from podiatric medicine and from other professions that have similar concerns about the evaluation of practitioner competence. Several suggestions are given for improving evaluating practices.