, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 615-618
Date: 22 May 2014

The Short-Answer Vignette Examination (SAVE): An Assessment Tool for the Core Psychiatry Clerkship

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This study aims to develop a vignette-based assessment tool for medical students on the psychiatry clerkship, with the goal of capturing knowledge and clinical reasoning.


The Short-Answer Vignette Exam (SAVE), four case vignettes with open-ended questions regarding assessment, differential diagnosis, management, and treatment, was developed for and administered to medical students rotating through psychiatry at a university medical school over one academic year (n = 169). The correlation of SAVE scores to resident/faculty evaluations (clinical rating) and Shelf exam scores were analyzed.


SAVE scores were significantly correlated with scores on both the Shelf and Clinical Rating. By contrast, Shelf scores were not significantly related to Clinical Rating.


The SAVE may measure aspects of clinical decision making not measured by the Shelf, without being redundant in what is assessed by the Clinical Rating. The SAVE provides an additional potentially useful assessment tool to evaluate medical students on the psychiatry clerkship.