Assessing Students – Clinical Competence Versus Performance

Posted Posted in Review Articles

Author: John Ruedy


The recent elaboration of the range of physician competencies upon which the quality of health care is dependent has fostered the development of a variety of methods of assessing medical student competencies and performance. Such assessments are essential in providing feedback to students to guide their learning and to faculty on the success of the curriculum in achieving competency outcomes. In addition they provide evidence that students have achieved minimum requirements for progressing. Well-designed Observed Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), Mini-Clinical Examinations (Mini-CEXs) and some forms of Multi-Source Feedback (MSF) can meet acceptable standards of validity and reliability and are feasible. Competency assessments are limited in predicting how a student will actually act in the work situation particularly in humanistic skills. More emphasis needs to be placed on student performance, in such competencies as communication and professionalism, in a variety of settings by a number of observers.

Keywords: assessment, evaluation, clinical competence, performance, multi-source feedback.

Citation: IeJSME 2007: 1 (1): 15-21

The Changing Roles Of Pharmacists In Society

Posted Posted in Review Articles

Authors: Stephen Arthur Hudson, John Jackson Mc Anaw, Barbara Julienne Johnson.


A clinical role for pharmacists has developed in response to the societal need to improve the use of medicines. Clinical role development has been led by initiatives in the hospital sector which have enabled Schools of Pharmacy to make shifts in the pre-graduate education of pharmacists. The increasing complexity in the management of drug therapy has given pharmacists clear roles that integrate within the healthcare team. The history is one in which the development of changing roles of pharmacists is an example of progress in healthcare delivery creating the need for revision of the curriculum for a whole profession.

Milestones in the changing roles and in the preparation of pharmacists for those roles have been; Establishment of clinical pharmacy in the US hospitals and the doctorate (PharmD) as the professional entry qualification; postgraduate clinical pharmacy education in UK and elsewhere, notably Asia and Australasia; hospital pharmacist specialisation across the wide range of medical specialties; the clinical teaching of pharmacists; the concept of ‘pharmaceutical care’ as a factor in public health; changes in Schools of Pharmacy – with professors of pharmacy practice and a shift to patient-centred teaching.

Future evolution of pharmacist roles will follow the wider use of quality systems to address errors in prescribing and drug administration; the automation of systems of drug prescribing and administration and improved documentation of care; widening of prescribing roles; increased patient education and higher patient expectations; patient-centred research in Schools of pharmacy; development of primary care and improved accessibility to pharmaceutical advice; integration of pharmacists’ public health roles in strategies to address prevention and management of disease.

Keywords: clinical pharmacy, pharmacy education, pharmaceutical care, chronic disease management, drug therapy problems, public health.

Citation: IeJSME 2007: 1 (1): 22-34

Quality Of Life And Disability In Alcohol And Drug Dependent Patients Undergoing Treatment At Depaul House

Posted Posted in Original Article

Authors: George Philip, Whelan Greg, Nicolle Ait Khelifa.


Quality of life and disability are important indices that may help change the perception, treatment and care of those with alcohol or drug dependence problem. A cross-sectional survey was done among 25 drug and 25 alcohol dependents consecutively admitted to a community based residential withdrawal service in Melbourne, Australia to assess their quality of life and disabilities using the World Health Organisation Quality of Life (WHOQoL)-Bref and the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Scale (WHODAS) questionnaires. The quality of life of the sample population was found to be significantly poorer than the general population. The scores on quality of life and disability measurements in the group of patients with alcohol dependence were similar to the other drug dependent group.

Keywords: quality of life, disability, drug, alcohol dependents.

Citation: IeJSME 2007: 1 (1): 35-40

Assessment Of Basic Practical Skills In An Undergraduate Medical Curriculum

Posted Posted in Original Article

Authors: Sambandam Elango, Ramesh C Jutti, Palayan Kandasami, Cheong Lieng Teng, Li Cher Loh, Tirathram Motilal.


Introduction: Health educators and accrediting bodies have defined objectives and competencies that medical students need to acquire to become a safe doctor. There is no report in Malaysia, about the ability of medical students to perform some of the basic surgical skills before entering the houseman ship. The aim of this study is to determine whether the teaching/ learning methods of practical skills in our undergraduate program have been effective in imparting the desired level of competencies in these skills.

Methods: A list of basic practical skills that students should be competent has been identified. These skills are taught in a structured way and assessed as part of the composite end-of-semester examination. Practical skills stations form part of an Objective structured practical examination (OSPE).

Results: The results of 244 students who participated in three ends of semester examinations were analyzed. The mean score for the practical skills stations were higher than the mean OSPE (of all 18 stations) and overall score (of the written, practical and clinical examination). However the failure rate in the practical skills stations is higher in most of the stations (7 out of 8 stations) compared to overall failure rates.

Conclusions: In spite of the formal skills training many students failed to demonstrate the desired level of competencies in these stations. Assessment of practical skills as part of overall composite examination may not be effective in ensuring that all students have achieved the required level of competency. Practical skills should be assessed through dedicated formative assessments to make sure that all the students acquire the required competencies.

Keywords: clinical competence, practical skills, assessment.

Citation: IeJSME 2007: 1 (1): 41-45

Ethnic Differences and Motivation Based on Maslow’s Theory at a Medical University

Posted Posted in Original Article

Author: Jagmohni Kaur Sidhu


Introduction: Motivation in Malaysia is to a large extent influenced by the value system amongst all Malaysians. Being able to motivate employees is one of the important keys to the success of the organization. In this paper, an attempt was made to look into the needs of employees in organizations and in particular, the needs based on Maslow’s theory on motivation.

Subjects and Methods: Employees which consisted of both academic and administrative employees of the International Medical University (IMU) were surveyed using a standard questionnaire. The aim of this study was to compare which levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory had been fulfilled and which needs were yet to be fulfilled in the different ethnic groups at IMU.

Results: Amongst the males, the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups placed most emphasis on the esteem needs and on self-actualization needs. The Malay males gave importance to Safety needs. Amongst the female ethnic groups, all three groups placed most importance on the esteem needs and self-actualization needs. The Chinese females scored the lowest for the Basic needs compared to the Malay and Indian females. The Indian females scored the lowest for Social needs.

Conclusion: Organisations should play an important role in the motivation of employees. Human resource development is an integral part in the development of its employees.

Keywords: Maslow, motivation, ethnic, medical, university.

Citation: IeJSME 2007: 1 (1): 46-51

Effect of Stress on Medical Students

Posted Posted in Research Note

Author: Jagmohni Kaur Sidhu


Stress amongst medical students is often overlooked. Intelligent students are not always the most composed. This study aimed to look at both male and female students of three different ethnic groups and the effects of stress in areas such as academic, social, financial and their everyday life. The Chinese students reported significantly less “academic stress” than the Malay students, and the Malay students reported significantly less “financial stress” compared to the Chinese and Indian students. Medical education can be a health hazard for medical students.

Keywords: stress, medical students, ethnic.

Citation: IeJSME 2007: 1 (1): 52-53