Comparison of student self-assessment with faculty assessment of clinical competence

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At the University of Minnesota, fourth-year veterinary students assessed their clinical competence after completion of a small-animal, internal-medicine clinical rotation using the same rotation assessment form used by supervising faculty. Grades were compared between the two groups. Students identified by faculty as low-performing were more likely to overestimate their competence in the areas of knowledge, clinical skill, and professionalism than were students identified by faculty as higher performing. This finding mirrors research results in human health professional training. Self-assessment should not be used as the primary or sole measure of clinical competence in veterinary medical training without the introduction of measures to ensure the accuracy of student self-assessment, measures that include active faculty mentoring of student self-assessment, student goal-setting and reflection, and availability of subsequent opportunities to practice additional self-assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of veterinary medical education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • accreditation
  • assessment
  • clinical
  • competency
  • evaluation


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