Facilitating the successful translation of undergraduate theoretical knowledge into safe and appropriate postgraduate clinical practice represents a major challenge in education. The assessment of undergraduate medical, nursing and pharmacy students’ performance in the clinical setting has hence become a key priority for educators. Using performance based assessment facilitates the assessment of what a student does in practice as opposed to what they know. The Mini-CEX (mini clinical evaluation exercise) is one method used to assess the performance of students in a clinical context. It incorporates the components of both assessment and feedback and is based on the direct observation of a student patient consultation by a tutor.
The following are examples of 2 undergraduate medical students performing a Mini-CEX in a general practice setting and consist of two clinical scenarios assessing the competency of history taking. An actress with prior experience of role-playing within an undergraduate medical teaching environment acts as the patient and was given detailed briefing on the clinical scenario. A GP acts as the assessor. Both the students and the assessor were blind to the clinical scenarios.
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