Current practices and perspectives on clerkship grading in obstetrics and gynecology

Undergraduate Medicine Education Committee, Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Clerkship grades in obstetrics and gynecology play an increasingly important role in the competitive application process to residency programs. An analysis of clerkship grading practices has not been queried in the past 2 decades in our specialty. Objective: This study aimed to investigate obstetrics and gynecology clerkship directors’ practices and perspectives in grading. Study Design: A 12-item electronic survey was developed and distributed to clerkship directors with active memberships in the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Results: A total of 174 of 236 clerkship directors responded to the survey (a response rate of 73.7%). Respondents reported various grading systems with the fewest (20/173 [11.6%]) using a 2-tiered or pass or fail system and the most (72/173 [41.6%]) using a 4-tiered system. Nearly one-third of clerkship directors (57/163 [35.0%]) used a National Board of Medical Examiners subject examination score threshold to achieve the highest grade. Approximately 45 of 151 clerkship directors (30.0%) had grading committees. Exactly half of the clerkship directors (87/174 [50.0%]) reported requiring unconscious bias training for faculty who assess students. In addition, some responded that students from groups underrepresented in medicine (50/173 [28.9%]) and introverted students (105/173 [60.7%]) received lower evaluations. Finally, 65 of 173 clerkship directors (37.6%) agreed that grades should be pass or fail. Conclusion: Considerable heterogeneity exists in obstetrics and gynecology clerkship directors’ practices and perspectives in grading. Strategies to mitigate inequities and improve the reliability of grading include the elimination of a subject examination score threshold to achieve the highest grade and the implementation of both unconscious bias training and grading committees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97.e1-97.e6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Volume230
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • assessment
  • grading committees
  • residency application
  • unconscious bias training
  • undergraduate medical education

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