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MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 211-212

Employing situational judgment tests during the medical training: Need of the hour


1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission11-Nov-2020
Date of Decision19-Nov-2020
Date of Acceptance06-Dec-2020
Date of Web Publication05-Jul-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_142_20

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  Abstract 


In the field of medicine, the assessment of medical students conventionally has been carried out on the basis of academic performance alone. However, it is a fact that a medical professional should possess much more than medical knowledge alone and that's the reason why other core competencies have been defined by the regulatory bodies across the world. This translates to the immense need to assess the professional characteristics of a medical student, as they are equally important attributes in the making of a competent health care professional. Situational judgement test is a tool to assess the non-academic attributes in a medical student and has been acknowledged as an effective method for teaching, training and practicing medicine. In conclusion, the situational judgment test is an extremely cost-effective, valid and reliable approach to assess the non-academic attributes of the medical students in their workplace. This calls for the need to introduce them in all the medical institutions for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as it will definitely prepare them for the challenges of clinical practice.

Keywords: Medical students, professionalism, situational judgement tests


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Employing situational judgment tests during the medical training: Need of the hour. Curr Med Issues 2021;19:211-2

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Employing situational judgment tests during the medical training: Need of the hour. Curr Med Issues [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 4];19:211-2. Available from: https://www.cmijournal.org/text.asp?2021/19/3/211/320639



In the field of medicine, the assessment of medical students conventionally has been carried out on a basis of academic performance alone. However, it is a fact that a medical professional should possess much more than medical knowledge alone and that's the reason why other core competencies (such as communication skills, professionalism, lifelong learner, and leadership attributes) have been defined by the regulatory bodies across the world.[1] This translates to the immense need to assess the nonacademic and professional characteristics of a medical student, as they are equally important attributes in the making of a competent healthcare professional.[1],[2]

Situational judgment test (SJT) is a tool to assess the nonacademic attributes in a medical student and has been acknowledged as an effective method for teaching, training, and practicing medicine.[2] These tests have been earlier employed in a wide range of fields like military earlier, and gradually, their utility has been established in the field of medicine, dental education, and various postgraduation courses.[2],[3] These tests help the teachers/administrators to make an assessment of professional integrity, empathy, communication skills, team working skills, resilience, and ability to cope with pressure, among a wide range of healthcare professionals.[1],[2],[3] Further, the framed tests also aid in the assessment of compassion, care, and respect of patients and thus give a holistic assessment of nonacademic characteristics of the medical students.[2]

In these tests, medical students are given hypothetical scenarios (written or videos), which they are expected to encounter while discharging their roles and it is expected that the student identifies an appropriate option from a set of predefined options.[1],[3] The options are assigned a score well in advance by the subject specialist, and thus, a thorough assessment can be carried out. As the name of the test suggests, the students are supposed to make a judgment for the given hypothetical situation in their work settings.[3] However, it is crucial that the designed test should be framed keeping in mind the specific role which needs to be assessed. Moreover, the response instructions also should be precise and clearly define whether the knowledge domain (viz., what will be the best option?) or the behavior domain (viz., what you will do in this scenario?) is being assessed.[2],[3],[4]

These tests can be used either as a selection tool for a specific course or for the sake of measuring the development or assessment of the student based on the specific purpose, and the results give evidence for the suitability of the candidate.[3],[4] In medicine, these tests can be employed as a screening tool, and all those who successfully complete it are exposed to the next stage of the interview. It is important to understand that based on the scenario and type, the framed SJTs are variable and thus should be always designed in collaboration with the subject specialists.[1],[2] Moreover, these tests can also be employed as a part of multiple methods, and thus, a wide range of attributes can be assessed.[2]

However, considering that the challenges in the workplace are quite dynamic and tend to change with time, it becomes imperative to update these tests regularly with regard to their content, context, and level of training of the student.[2],[3],[4] It is important to note that these judgmental tests are efficient and cost effective approach to measure the nonacademic attributes of the student, provided that they are designed appropriately.[3],[4] As a part of capacity building and refining the skills of medical teachers, the Medical Education Unit of Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, a constituent unit of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Puducherry, organized a session on the use of Situational Judgment Tests. The session had lot of discussion and the participants expressed their interest to use the same in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching-learning process.

In conclusion, the situational judgment test is an extremely cost-effective, valid, and reliable approach to assess the nonacademic attributes of the medical students in their workplace. This calls for the need to introduce them in all the medical institutions for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as it will definitely prepare them for the challenges of clinical practice.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Tiffin PA, Paton LW, O'Mara D, MacCann C, Lang JW, Lievens F. Situational judgement tests for selection: Traditional vs construct-driven approaches. Med Educ 2020;54:105-15.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Goss BD, Ryan AT, Waring J, Judd T, Chiavaroli NG, O'Brien RC, et al. Beyond selection: The use of situational judgement tests in the teaching and assessment of professionalism. Acad Med 2017;92:780-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Patterson F, Zibarras L, Ashworth V. Situational judgement tests in medical education and training: Research, theory and practice: AMEE Guide No. 100. Med Teach 2016;38:3-17.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Taylor N, Mehra S, Elley K, Patterson F, Cousans F. The value of situational judgement tests for assessing non-academic attributes in dental selection. Br Dent J 2016;220:565-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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