Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 285–288 | Cite as

Appropriate Expertise and Training for Standardized Patient Assessment Examiners



Expertise varies by domain and does not readily transfer from one domain to another. In performance assessment, the application of expertise begins with the selection of the objectives to be assessed. Clarity about the assessment of objectives directs the designers to the most relevant domains of needed expertise. For assessment outcomes to be valid, the context, design, scoring guides, examiners, training, and implementation—all of which imply different areas of expertise—must be considered. Sometimes these areas of expertise may reside in one expert, and sometimes they may be constellated across different experts. The realistic infusion of expertise throughout the assessment is what supports validity.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Boulet JR, Smee SM, Dillon GF, et al: The use of standardized patient assessments for certification and licensure decisions. Simul Healthc 2009; 4: 35–42PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    McLaughlin K, Gregor L, Jones A, et al: Can standardized patients replace physicians as OSCE examiners? BMC Med Educ 2006; 6: 12PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hawkins R, MacKrell Gaglione M, et al: Assessment of patient management skills and clinical skills of practicing doctors using computer-based case simulations and standardized patients. Med Educ 2004; 38: 958–968PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Makoul G, Krupat E, Chang CH: Measuring patient views of physician communication skills: development and testing of the communication assessment tool. Patient Educ Couns 2007; 67: 333–342PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mercer LM, Tanabe P, Pang PS, et al: Patient perspectives on communication with the medical team: pilot study using the Communication Assessment Tool-Team (CAT-T). Patient Educ Couns 2008; 73: 220–223PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wallace P: Coaching Standardized Patients for Use in the Assessment of Clinical Competence. New York, Springer, 2007Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Heine N, Garman K, Wallace P, et al: An analysis of standardized patient checklist errors and their effect on student scores. Med Educ 2003; 37: 99–104PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Boulet JR, van Zanten M, de Champlain A, et al: Checklist content on a standardized patient assessment: an ex post facto review. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2008; 13: 59–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hodges B, McIlroy JH: Analytic global OSCE ratings are sensitive to level of training. Med Educ 2003; 37: 1012–1016PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Clyman SG, Melnick, Del, Clauser BE: Computer-based case simulations from medicine: assessing skills in patient management, in Innovative Simulations for Assessing Professional Competence. Edited by Tekian A, McGahie WC. Chicago, University of Illinois, Department of Medical Education, 1999, pp 29–41Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Williamson D, Behar L, Hone A: “Mental model” comparison of automated and human scoring. J Educational Measurement 1999; 36: 158–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    van Zanten M, Boulet JR, McKinley D: Using standardized patients to assess the interpersonal skills of physicians: six years’ experience with a high-stakes certification examination. Health Commun 2007; 22: 195–205PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Boulet JR, Ben-David MF, Burdick W, et al: An investigation of the sources of measurement error in the post-encounter written scores from standardized patient examinations. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 1998; 3: 89–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Boulet JR, McKinley DW, Norcini JJ, et al: Assessing the comparability of standardized patient and physician evaluations of clinical skills. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2002; 7: 85–97PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Clauser BE: Further discussion of SP checklists and videotaped performances. Acad Med 2000; 75: 315–316; author reply 317–318PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Psychology in the College of Education, the Assessment and Learning Division of the School of Medicine, and the Department of PsychiatryUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

Personalised recommendations