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Peer assisted feedback: a successful approach for providing feedback on United States Medical Licensing Exam-style clinical skills exam notes in the United States

 ( Nagoshi Kira ) - Buchholz High School

 ( Zaidi Zareen ) - University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Medicine
 ( Wright Ashleigh ) - University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Medicine
 ( Stalvey Carolyn ) - University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Medicine


Purpose: Peer assisted learning (PAL) promotes the development of communication, facilitates improvement of clinical skills, and provides feedback to learners. We utilized PAL as a conceptual framework to explore the feasibility of peer-assisted feedback (PAF) to improve note writing skills without requiring faculty time. The aim was to assess if peer assisted learning was a successful method to provide feedback on USMLE-style clinical skills exam notes by using student feedback on a survey in the United States.

Methods: The University of Florida College of Medicine administers clinical skills examinations (CSEs) includes USMLE-like note-writing. PAL, where students support the learning of peers, was utilized as an alternative to faculty feedback. Second (MS2) and third (MS3) year medical students taking CSEs participated in faculty-run note-grading sessions immediately after testing, which included explanations of grading rubrics and the feedback process. Students graded an anonymized peer’s notes. The graded material was then forwarded anonymously to its student author to review. Students were surveyed on perceived ability to provide feedback and benefits derived from PAF using a Likert scale (1-6) and open-ended comments during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Results: Students felt generally positively about the activity with mean score for items related to educational value of 4.49 for MS2 and 5.11 for MS3 out of 6. MS3s perceived peer feedback as constructive, felt benefit from evaluating other’s notes, and felt the exercise would improve their future notes. While still positive, MS2 students gave comparatively lower scores than the MS2 students.

Conclusion: PAF was a successful method to provide feedback on student CSE notes, especially for MS3s. MS2s commented that although they learned during the process, they might be more invested in improving their note writing as they approach their own USMLE exam.


Clinical competence; Feedback; Medical students; Peer group; United States
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