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Evaluation of virtual assessment for a high stakes' clinical examination — physician assistant students' and their examiners' perspectives
Purpose: This case study emerged from the necessity to reschedule an in-person long case examination to an online platform for physician assistant students' final clinical examination during COVID-19 restrictions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the experiences of students and examiners for a high stakes' clinical examination online.
Methods: This was an evaluation research study using the Context, Input, Process, Product model, which provided a framework to establish the effectiveness and/or success of an online format for a high stakes' clinical examination. All students and examiners were invited to take part in virtual interviews.
Results: The results suggest that both students (n = 5) and examiners (n = 7) agree that, although the stress of a face-to-face examination was lessened for the student, this was balanced by a new stressor of potential Internet problems. All agreed that a virtual setting for a high stakes' assessment is not transferable, with both groups citing the lack of opportunities to "read the patient" and "showcase their physical examination skills" as challenging.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that, in the context of balancing the risks of the pandemic with graduating health care professionals, the online clinical examination format met the required assessment criteria. Recommendations suggest that the long case could be planned so that students and patients are in the same setting to perform a physical examination, confirming the finding that questions on "how to" examine a patient are no substitute for "doing."
CommentsThis is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The Journal of Physician Assistant Education. The published version of record Joyce P, Cassidy D, Kenna L. Evaluation of virtual assessment for a high stakes' clinical examination— physician assistant students' and their examiners' perspectives. J Physician Assist Educ. 2023:10.1097
Published CitationJoyce P, Cassidy D, Kenna L. Evaluation of virtual assessment for a high stakes' clinical examination— physician assistant students' and their examiners' perspectives. J Physician Assist Educ. 2023:10.1097 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1097/jpa.0000000000000516
Publication Date27 July 2023
- Physician Associate Programme
- Health Professions Education Centre
PublisherWolters Kluwer Health, Inc.
- Accepted Version (Postprint)