Background: As the evaluation of professional behaviors has been identified as an area for development, the Professionalism Mini-Evaluation Exercise (P-MEX) was developed using the mini-Clinical Examination Exercise (mini-CEX) format.
Method: From a set of 142 observable behaviors reflective of professionalism identified at a McGill workshop, 24 were converted into an evaluation instrument modeled on the mini-CEX. This instrument, designed for use in multiple settings, was tested on clinical clerks in medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and pediatrics. In all, 211 forms were completed on 74 students by 47 evaluators.
Results: Results indicate content and construct validity. Exploratory factor analysis yielded 4 factors: doctor-patient relationship skills, reflective skills, time management, and interprofessional relationship skills. A decision study showed confidence intervals sufficiently narrow for many measurement purposes with as few as 8 observations. Four items frequently marked below expectations may be identifiers for "problem" students.
Conclusion: This preliminary study suggests that the P-MEX is a feasible format for evaluating professionalism in clinical training.