Background: To provide high-quality patient care, effective communication and interpersonal skills are necessary for physicians. A 360-degree evaluation of residents in the department of medicine was conducted to assess their interpersonal and communication skills. The measurement properties and utility of the multi-source ratings were investigated.
Methods: A cross-sectional assessment of a cohort of Internal Medicine residents was conducted at the Aga Khan Medical University in Pakistan. Every resident (n = 49) was evaluated by eight raters, including physicians, nurses and unit staff. Each resident also completed a self-evaluation. Evidence to support the validity of the ratings was gathered by exploring performance differences amongst more- and less-experienced providers. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was employed to test for differences in mean scores, both for rater type and experience (residency year). Generalizability theory was employed to estimate the reliability of the ratings.
Results: We received 367/441 (83.2%) completed forms. There was a significant effect attributable to rater source (F = 5.2, P < 0.01). There were no significant differences in mean scores for residents at different levels of training. The mean resident self-assessment scores were significantly lower than those provided by faculty (P < 0.01). Based on eight raters, the reliability of the ratings was moderate (ρ2 = 0.39).
Discussion: The 360-degree evaluation technique can be used to measure the communication and interpersonal skills of residents. It can also provide important data to guide resident feedback. Health care providers and staff who interact with residents on regular basis can, as a group provide moderately consistent judgments of their abilities.