Physician self-assessment questions

Let’s officially retire this pre/post-activity question:

<pre-activity> How would you rate your knowledge of X? (or the common variant: How confident are you in your ability to do X?)

<post-activity> After having participated in this activity, how would you rate your knowledge of X?  (or …how confident are you now in your ability to do X?)

First and foremost, it’s really lazy.  Second, we’ve known for long enough that physician self-assessments are reliably unreliable (Davis et al, 2006).   It’s better to ask no question, than a bad one.

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2 Comments

Filed under CME, Outcomes, Self-assessment

2 responses to “Physician self-assessment questions

  1. Here is why I love that question and its variants. In my reports I gather the data points and contrast it with the actual data from competence or behavior based surveys to demonstrate that quite often–physician or not–we don’t always know what we don’t know. It is the cognitive biases and heuristics that complicate the clinical decision making and it is useful to demonstrate this with data…

    • assesscme

      Hi, Bonny. The outcome report that prompted this post found exactly what you noted: self-assessment and objective data told two different stories. Assuming you have objective data for comparison, I see your point that self-assessment measurements would prove useful – but in such cases, I’d expect the self-assessments to be more targeted than the generic example provided in this post.

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