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Evaluating a direct observation exercise in a psychiatric clerkship


Dr Paul S. Links, Community Psychiatry Service, Fontbonne Building-3rd Floor, 301 James Street South, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8P 3B6.


The introduction of a direct observation exercise in the psychiatric clerkship at McMaster University is presented. Preliminary investigation of the reliability, construct validity, educational effects and feasibility of the exercise is discussed. The direct observation exercise is found to measure improvement in skills, enhance the recording of student performance, be valued by the students and feasible in the clinical setting. Directions for future evaluation research with direct observation exercises are outlined.