Background: The development of clinical teaching necessitates the use of novel and appropriate clinical evaluation methods. In the meantime, the use of new evaluation approaches that enhance learning at the same time has been recommended. This study aimed to compare the effect of the two new evaluation methods of direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS) and short clinical evaluation exercise (Mini-CEX) with the conventional evaluation method on clinical skills of forensic medicine residents.
Methods: This is a randomized trial performed among forensic medicine residents. Using Cochran's formula, the minimum sample size was calculated to be 25 individuals per group. All the residents were randomly divided into either the experimental or the control groups. After training and evaluation, the experimental group was tested using the DOPS and Mini-CEX methods three times during the course, and the control group was evaluated using the conventional method. The basis for the evaluation of the procedures (physical examination and autopsy) in both groups was the valid and reliable checklists prepared by the researchers. The results were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics (e.g., the Chi-square and independent t-test).
Results: There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of demographic variables such as age, sex, and grade point average (GPA) (P>0.06). The means of total scores were significantly higher in the experimental group (using the Mini-CEX and DOPS methods) than the control group (conventional method) (P<0.0002).
Conclusion: The use of new evaluation methods of DOPS and Mini-CEX improved the clinical skills of forensic medicine residents. Therefore, it is recommended that resident training centers use these two methods of assessment, together with other methods, to evaluate clinical procedures and boost forensic residents' learning.
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