Improving the interviewing and self-assessment skills of medical students: is it time to readopt videotaping as an educational tool?

Ambul Pediatr. May-Jun 2004;4(3):244-8. doi: 10.1367/A03-122R1.1.


Purpose: To evaluate the effect of a videotaping program on third-year medical students' interviewing and self-assessment skills.

Methods: A self-assessment manual, listing and explaining 21 core elements of the medical interview, was developed. After reading the manual, students videotaped an interview and self-assessed their performances. Each student reviewed the videotape with a faculty member who also rated the performance. This process was repeated 1 week later. Changes in group performance, core element performance, and ability to self-assess after the intervention were evaluated by Cohen d values to measure effect size, McNemar chi-square test for repeated measures, and concordance between faculty and student ratings.

Results: Sixty students participated in the videotaping study. Students inaccurately self-assessed on the first video 14% of the time. The 6 poorest-performed core elements were the least accurately self-assessed. Lack of concordance between the global rating given by faculty and student identified all students with inflated self-assessment. One review session had a large effect on overall performance and interpersonal skills and a moderate effect on history-taking skills. A large effect on performance was seen for 3 core elements, a moderate effect for 12 elements, and a small effect for the remaining 6 elements. Performance of the core elements that needed improvement did improve in 74% of the students (P <.001). Students' overall ability to self-assess improved significantly (P <.01).

Conclusions: Our videotaping program improved students' interviewing and self-assessment skills and identified students with inflated views of their abilities. Medical educators should re-evaluate and readopt this excellent teaching and learning tool.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Education, Medical / standards
  • Humans
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Students, Medical
  • Videotape Recording / methods*