Background: The accuracy of standardized patients (SPs) as recorders is an
ongoing concern in medical education. Consistent feedback from an expert ob
server during a clinical examination might enhance the SPs' accuracy in com
Purpose: To determine the frequency of feedback necessary to maximize SP ch
ecklist accuracy. Method: Student checklists were completed after each enco
unter by the SPs. Varying levels of feedback were given to SPs by their tra
iners. To determine checklist accuracy level, multiple reviewers developed
an answer key for each student encounter studied. Two hundred ninety-eight
encounters were examined for agreement among 6,566 checklist items.
Results: Random feedback resulted in significantly higher levels of SP accu
racy than no feedback. There was no significant difference between random a
nd constant feedback.
Conclusions: This study suggests that random feedback given to SPs is suffi
cient to enhance SP checklist accuracy and should be part of implementation
protocols in all required clinical performance examinations.