Increasingly specialty boards are exploring ways to include patient evaluations of physicians in physician certification. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is one such group who designed an evaluation form for patients to use to provide feedback on a physician’s professionalism and communication skills. We have adapted this form for your use. It is a bubble form with a cover letter explaining to the patient what it is. There are ten Likert questions and three demographic questions and a space for comments. These packets are available in the Clerkship Director’s office across from Kathy’s desk on the wall or you may print your patient evaluation form and cover letter at this site. (Though it looks like a scantron, it is entered by hand so patients do not have to literally bubble in their selection with a pencil, they can simply mark it with any writing implement.)
You can ask as many patients (or their family members if appropriate) to evaluate you using this form as you would like. We provide an envelope with our address that you can use so the survey can remain anonymous. The more patients you are able to have evaluate you, the more meaningful the data. For this limited clerkship, an ideal number would be 8-10.
Some students have expressed concern that patient might think they were being nice to them only because they were getting evaluated. This may be true of some patients, but it is very common practice for hospitals and clinics to distribute patient satisfaction forms so most patients will view this as a routine occurrence.
Logistically, there is no easy way to do this other than hand them out yourself or you can ask another team member to do so if that is more comfortable for you. The envelopes go through campus mail fairly reliably from Shands but not the VA or Jacksonville. You will need to collect the sealed envelopes and return them to Kathy to ensure they are received from these locations (and it is really more reliable at Shands too). We typically enter these at the end of the rotation but we will give you feedback about any patient feedabck taht arrives before the evaluation letters are completed.
You do not need to enter anything in the electronic portfolio.
We will provide you with your numeric rating and any comments when you receive your final clerkship evaluation and grade. Usually this feedback is very positive but sometimes it can alert you to certain practices or styles that are not as effective as you might think. This type of feedback is rather unique and I make sure to include it in the comments I provide to Dr. Duff for inclusion in your Dean’s letter. It is pretty powerful to say that actual patients evaluated your interpersonal skills and rated you as outstanding. If you receive 8 or more positive patient evaluations, this will bump up your competency rating in patient communication.