Regular Formal Evaluation Sessions are Effective as Frame-of-Reference Training for Faculty Evaluators of Clerkship Medical Students

Paul A. Hemmer*, Gregory A. Dadekian, Christopher Terndrup, Louis N. Pangaro, Allison B. Weisbrod, Mark D. Corriere, Rechell Rodriguez, Patricia Short, William F. Kelly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Face-to-face formal evaluation sessions between clerkship directors and faculty can facilitate the collection of trainee performance data and provide frame-of-reference training for faculty. Objective: We hypothesized that ambulatory faculty who attended evaluation sessions at least once in an academic year (attendees) would use the Reporter-Interpreter-Manager/Educator (RIME) terminology more appropriately than faculty who did not attend evaluation sessions (non-attendees). Design: Investigators conducted a retrospective cohort study using the narrative assessments of ambulatory internal medicine clerkship students during the 2008–2009 academic year. Participants: The study included assessments of 49 clerkship medical students, which comprised 293 individual teacher narratives. Main Measures: Single-teacher written and transcribed verbal comments about student performance were masked and reviewed by a panel of experts who, by consensus, (1) determined whether RIME was used, (2) counted the number of RIME utterances, and (3) assigned a grade based on the comments. Analysis included descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation coefficients. Key Results: The authors reviewed 293 individual teacher narratives regarding the performance of 49 students. Attendees explicitly used RIME more frequently than non-attendees (69.8 vs. 40.4 %; p < 0.0001). Grades recommended by attendees correlated more strongly with grades assigned by experts than grades recommended by non-attendees (r = 0.72; 95 % CI (0.65, 0.78) vs. 0.47; 95 % CI (0.26, 0.64); p = 0.005). Grade recommendations from individual attendees and non-attendees each correlated significantly with overall student clerkship clinical performance [r = 0.63; 95 % CI (0.54, 0.71) vs. 0.52 (0.36, 0.66), respectively], although the difference between the groups was not statistically significant (p = 0.21). Conclusions: On an ambulatory clerkship, teachers who attended evaluation sessions used RIME terminology more frequently and provided more accurate grade recommendations than teachers who did not attend. Formal evaluation sessions may provide frame-of-reference training for the RIME framework, a method that improves the validity and reliability of workplace assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1318
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 19 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Medical education–assessment methods
  • Medical education–assessment/evaluation
  • Medical education–faculty development


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