Purpose: Teamwork is an important and challenging area of learning during the transition from medical graduate to intern. This preliminary investigation examined the psychometric and logistic properties of the Teamwork Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (T-MEX) for the workplace-based assessment of key competencies in working with health care teams.
Method: The authors designed the T-MEX for direct observation and assessment of six collaborative behaviors in seven clinical situations important for teamwork, feedback, and reflection. In 2010, they tested it on University of New South Wales senior medical students during their last six-week clinical term to investigate its overall utility, including validity and reliability. Assessors rated students in different situations on the extent to which they met expectations for interns for each collaborative behavior. Both assessors and students rated the tool's usefulness and feasibility.
Results: Assessment forms for 88 observed encounters were submitted by 25 students. The T-MEX was suited to a broad range of collaborative clinical practice situations, as evidenced by the encounter types and the behaviors assessed by health care team members. The internal structure of the behavior ratings indicated construct validity. A generalizability study found that eight encounters were adequate for high-stakes measurement purposes. The mean times for observation and feedback and the participants' perceptions suggested usefulness for feedback and feasibility in busy clinical settings.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that the T-MEX has good utility for assessing trainee competence in working with health care teams. It fills a gap within the suite of existing tools for workplace-based assessment of professional attributes.