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Understanding medical student paths to communication skills expertise using latent profile analysis

Altshuler, Lisa; Wilhite, Jeffrey A.; Hardowar, Khemraj; Crowe, Ruth; Hanley, Kathleen; Kalet, Adina; Zabar, Sondra; Gillespie, Colleen; Ark, Tavinder
Purpose: To describe patterns of clinical communication skills that inform curriculum enhancement and guide coaching of medical students. Materials and methods: Performance data from 1182 consenting third year medical students in 9 cohorts (2011"“2019), on a 17-item Clinical Communication Skills Assessment Tool (CCSAT) completed by trained Standardized Patients as part of an eight case high stakes Comprehensive Clinical Skills Exam (CCSE) were analyzed using latent profile analysis (LPA). Assessment domains included: information gathering (6 items), relationship development (5 items), patient education (3 items), and organization/time management (3 items). LPA clustered learners with similar strength/weakness into profiles based on item response patterns across cases. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) assessed for significant differences by profile for CCSAT items. Results: Student performance clustered into six profiles in three groups, high performing (HP1 and HP2-Low Patient Education, 15.7%), average performing (AP1 and AP2-Interrupters, 40.9%), and lower performing profiles (LP1-Non-interrupters and LP2, 43.4%) with adequate model fit estimations and similar distribution in each cohort. We identified 3 CCSAT items that discriminated among learner"™s skill profiles. Conclusion: Clinical communication skill performance profiles provide nuanced, benchmarked guidance for curriculum improvement and tailoring of communication skills coaching.
ISSN: 0142-159x
CID: 5460042

Using Latent Profile Analysis to Describe and Understand Medical Student Paths to Communication Skills Expertise

Altshuler, Lisa; Ark, Tavinder; Wilhite, Jeffrey; Hardowar, Khemraj; Crowe, Ruth; Hanley, Kathleen; L Kalet, Adina; Zabar, Sondra; Gillespie, Colleen
PMID: 36287681
ISSN: 1938-808x
CID: 5358002

Using Latent Profile Analysis to Describe and Understand Medical Student Paths to Communication Skills Expertise

Altshuler, Lisa; Ark, Tavinder; Wilhite, Jeffrey; Hardowar, Khemraj; Crowe, Ruth; Hanley, Kathleen; L Kalet, Adina; Zabar, Sondra; Gillespie, Colleen
PMID: 37460497
ISSN: 1938-808x
CID: 5535522

Entrustment Decision Making in the Core Entrustable Professional Activities: Results of a Multi-Institutional Study

Brown, David R; Moeller, Jeremy J; Grbic, Douglas; Biskobing, Diane M; Crowe, Ruth; Cutrer, William B; Green, Michael L; Obeso, Vivian T; Wagner, Dianne P; Warren, Jamie B; Yingling, Sandra L; Andriole, Dorothy A
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:In 2014, the Association of American Medical Colleges defined 13 Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) that all graduating students should be ready to do with indirect supervision upon entering residency and commissioned a 10-school, 5-year pilot to test implementing the Core EPAs framework. In 2019, pilot schools convened trained entrustment groups (TEGs) to review assessment data and render theoretical summative entrustment decisions for class of 2019 graduates. Results were examined to determine the extent to which entrustment decisions could be made and the nature of these decisions. METHOD/METHODS:For each EPA considered (4-13 per student), TEGs recorded an entrustment determination (ready, progressing but not yet ready, evidence against student progressing, could not make a decision); confidence in that determination (none, low, moderate, high); and the number of workplace-based assessments (WBAs) considered (0->15) per determination. These individual student-level data were de-identified and merged into a multischool database; chi-square analysis tested the significance of associations between variables. RESULTS:The 2,415 EPA-specific determinations (for 349 students by 4 participating schools) resulted in a decision of ready (n = 997/2,415; 41.3%), progressing but not yet ready (n = 558/2,415; 23.1%), or evidence against student progression (n = 175/2,415; 7.2%). No decision could be made for the remaining 28.4% (685/2,415), generally for lack of data. Entrustment determinations' distribution varied across EPAs (chi-square P < .001) and, for 10/13 EPAs, WBA availability was associated with making (vs not making) entrustment decisions (each chi-square P < .05). CONCLUSIONS:TEGs were able to make many decisions about readiness for indirect supervision; yet less than half of determinations resulted in a decision of readiness to perform this EPA with indirect supervision. More work is needed at the 10 schools to enable authentic summative entrustment in the Core EPAs framework.
PMID: 34261864
ISSN: 1938-808x
CID: 5219222

Does a measure of Medical Professional Identity Formation predict communication skills performance?

Kalet, Adina; Ark, Tavinder K; Monson, Verna; Song, Hyuksoon S; Buckvar-Keltz, Lynn; Harnik, Victoria; Yingling, Sandra; Rivera, Rafael; Tewksbury, Linda; Lusk, Penelope; Crowe, Ruth
OBJECTIVE:To validate an approach to measuring professional identity formation (PIF), we explore if the Professional Identity Essay (PIE), a stage score measure of medical professional identity (PI), predicts clinical communication skills. METHODS:Students completed the PIE during medical school orientation and a 3-case Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) where standardized patients reliably assessed communication skills in 5 domains. Using mediation analyses, relationships between PIE stage scores and communication skills were explored. RESULTS:For the 351 (89%) consenting students, controlling for individual characteristics, there were increases in patient counseling (6.5%, p<0.01), information gathering (4.3%, p = 0.01), organization and management (4.1%, p = 0.02), patient assessment (3.6%, p = 0.04), and relationship development (3.5%, p = 0.03) skills for every half stage increase in PIE score. The communication skills of lower socio-economic status (SES) students are indirectly impacted by their slightly higher PIE stage scores. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Higher PIE stage scores are associated with higher communication skills and lower SES. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:PIE predicts critical clinical skills and identifies how SES and other characteristics indirectly impact future clinical performance, providing validity evidence for using PIE as a tool in longitudinal formative academic coaching, program and curriculum evaluation, and research.
PMID: 33896685
ISSN: 1873-5134
CID: 4889222

Attaining interprofessional competencies by connecting oral health to overall health

Haber, Judith; Hartnett, Erin; Cipollina, Jessamin; Allen, Kenneth; Crowe, Ruth; Roitman, Janna; Feldman, Lauren; Fletcher, Jason; Ng, Grace
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an annual oral-systemic health interprofessional education (IPE) clinical simulation and case study experience with nurse practitioner/midwifery (NP/MW), dental (DDS), medical (MD), and pharmacy (PharmD) students. METHODS:The Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Scale (ICCAS) was used to measure students' self-reported attainment of interprofessional competencies before and after the IPE experience. Pre- and post-test surveys were completed by NP/MW, DDS, MD, and PharmD student cohorts from 2017 to 2019. Students also had the opportunity to provide qualitative feedback about their experience at post-test. Data were collected from IPE faculty facilitators to assess their perception of the value of the Teaching Oral-Systemic Health (TOSH) program. RESULTS:Student ICCAS results demonstrated statistically significant improvement in self-reported interprofessional competencies among all types of students across all 3 years (P < 0.001); qualitative student comments reflected positive experiences with the TOSH program. Survey data from IPE faculty facilitators supported the value of the IPE experience for all students. CONCLUSIONS:The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the TOSH program in using oral-systemic health as a clinical exemplar to develop interprofessional competencies. The 2017-2019 data reinforce the credibility of scaling the TOSH model for developing interprofessional competencies with students from different health professions.
PMID: 33230834
ISSN: 1930-7837
CID: 5079572

Communication skills over time for eight medical school cohorts: Exploration of selection, curriculum, and measurement effects [Meeting Abstract]

Gillespie, C; Ark, T; Crowe, R; Altshuler, L; Wilhite, J; Hardowar, K; Tewksbury, L; Hanley, K; Zabar, S; Kalet, A
BACKGROUND: NYU uses the same 14-item checklist for assessing medical student communication skills across our curriculum, which includes highquality Objective Structured Clinical Skills Exams throughout the first three years of medical school: a 3-station Introductory Clinical Experience OSCE (ICE), a 3-station end-of-clinical skills OSCE (Practice of Medicine; POM); and an 8-station, high- stakes OSCE (Comprehensive Clinical Skills Exam; CCSE) after core clerkship. We describe how skills change throughout school and explore how patterns vary by cohort (class) in ways that could be explained by admissions criteria, measurement quality, and/or curriculum changes.
METHOD(S): Three domains are assessed: Info gathering (6 items), relationship development (5 items); and patient education & counseling (3 items). Checklist items use a 3-point scale (not done, partly, well done) with behavioral anchors. Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) exceeds .75 for all subdomains and across all years. Domains are supported by Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Mean average % well done was calculated across cases and individuals for each subdomain in an OSCE and compared over the OSCEs and between 8 classes of medical school students entering from 2009 to 2016 (graduating 2013 to 2020) (n=1569).
RESULT(S): Cohorts showed similar patterns communication skills trajectories - improvement over time. Despite changes in admissions criteria and processes, cohorts did not differ in terms of demographics, undergraduate GPA, or MCAT scores. Variability in scores decreased in all cohorts over time while communication improved. Patient education & counseling was significantly and substantially lower than other domains. In terms of cohort effects, communication scores for the entering class of 2013 at the start of medical school (ICE OSCE) were significantly higher than the previous 4. At the end of MS2, scores were similar for cohorts for info gathering and relationship development domains (and high, mean range=77-87% well done) but patient education & counseling varied: Improvement from the 1st to 3rd cohort and then decline for the last 5 cohorts. Within the CCSE (8-station pass/fail, MS3), communication scores increased steadily across entering classes, especially from cohort 4 on. These changes over time and between cohorts were mapped onto a priori descriptions of curricular, measurement and admission changes.
CONCLUSION(S): Our cohort data showed interesting and complex patterns. This study reinforces some limitations of linking curriculum to performance (e.g., no direct measures of the curriculum in terms of content, process and intensity over time, limited data on what makes cohorts different, variable measurement over time, and being unable to control for broader trends likely to influence both cohort and time effects) while also demonstrating the promise of longitudinal perspectives on the development of core competencies. LEARNING OBJECTIVE #1: Understand cohort performance in relation to curricular trends. LEARNING OBJECTIVE #2: Describe variation in performance
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 4984942

Exploring the professional identity of exemplars of medical professionalism [Meeting Abstract]

Altshuler, L; Monson, V; Chen, D T; Lusk, P; Bukvar-Keltz, L; Crowe, R; Tewksbury, L; Poag, M; Harnik, V; Belluomini, P; Kalet, A
BACKGROUND: A core responsibility of medical educators is to foster a strong sense of medical professional identity (PI). Few studies specifically examine the qualities that constitute the PI of physicians recognized for exemplary professionalism. We describe those qualities based on an assessment of PI to inform educational efforts and support learners' development of PI.
METHOD(S): We used Colby and Damon's criteria for selection of moral exemplars (1992) to invite nominations of exemplary faculty physicians at NYUGSOM from faculty and trainees. Participants completed the Professional Identity Essay (PIE), a 9-question reflective writing measure based on a wellknown model of adult development that explores meaning making on PI (Bebeau & Lewis, 2004; Kegan, 1982, 1994). Two raters with extensive training and experience in adult developmental theory rated PIE responses for stage or transition phase. PI stages include independent operator, teamoriented idealist, self-defining, and self-transforming. These stages reflect increasing complexity and internalization of PI. We also gathered information on specialty, years in practice, gender, and race/ethnicity.
RESULT(S): Two hundred and twelve faculty were nominated; 35 were invited to participate (based on number of nominations, diversity of ages, backgrounds and career stage), and 21 completed scorable PIEs. They were from 13 specialties; mean career length was 21.5 years (range 6-45), and 35% were female. All but 2 were Caucasian. PIE scores ranged from 3 to 4.5 (Table 1), demonstrating differing and increasingly complex and internalized ways faculty understand their PI, and that not all nominated exemplars share a singular view of professionalism.
CONCLUSION(S): Physicians nominated as exemplars of professionalism embody a range of professional identities and professionalism world-views. Our study provides rich descriptions of multiple pathways to strengthening a physician's professionalidentities, of critical importance to faculty and physician development in a milieu of challenges to recruitment and retention of physicians. This approach can also inform educators' efforts to support PI development in learners and support the development of learning communities that foster a growth mindset. LEARNING OBJECTIVE #1: Recognize importance of strong role models for MPI. LEARNING OBJECTIVE #2: Describe the varying levels of MPI in a cohort of exemplar physicians
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 4984982

Validation of the comprehensive clinical skills exam (CCSE) measurement model [Meeting Abstract]

Ark, T; Gillespie, C; Hardowar, K; Mari, A; Wilhite, J; Crowe, R; Kalet, A; Altshuler, L; Zabar, S
BACKGROUND: Performance-based assessment & feedback during medical training is essential for a successful transition before moving onto residency and independent clinical practice. Learners at New York University's School of Medicine (NYUSOM) participate in a routine comprehensive clinical skills examination (CCSE) that takes place at the tail end of medical school. During this exam, learners interact with standardized patients (SPs) and are rated on specific skills using a standardized checklist, measuring important clinical skills domains. NYUSOM has utilized the same assessment tool since 2005. To date, there is limited evidence on the tool's validity and ability to differentiate among students. We sought to provide evidence for it's reliability, validity, and generalizability.
METHOD(S): 1157 learners participated in the CCSE from 2011-2019 and were included in the analysis. Communication domain items assessed included patient education (3 items), relationship development (4 items), information gathering (6 items) and organization/ time management (3 items). Items were scored using a 3-point behaviorally-anchored scale (not, partly, or well done). In order to determine the degree to which the data mapped onto our theoretically-informed communication domains, we conducted a four-factor confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) allowing for factors to correlate (oblique rotation) and using means and variance adjusted weighted-least squares estimation (WLSMV) in order to account for the ordered categorical nature of the communication items. Model fit was assessed using root mean square of approximation (RMSEA) < 0.08, comparative fit index (CFI) > 0.95, and standardized root mean square error (SRMR) <0.08.
RESULT(S): The model fit the data using RMSEA (0.04), CFI (0.98), and SRMR (0.05). All factors were significantly correlated with one another (p < 0.05), with the largest correlation between patient education and organization/ time management (0.86), and information gathering (0.77). The smallest correlation was between organization/ time management and information gathering (0.66). All items (factor loadings) significantly loaded on the factors they measured. Only one item had an insignificant threshold loading between partly and well done, suggesting this part of the response scale may be hard for SPs to differentiate between students with varying ability on this item. Each factor had at least one item that had a factor loading less than 0.7.
CONCLUSION(S): The analysis suggests each item on the communication checklist significantly measures domains they were designed to measure, and that items can be summated to compute overall scores. Domains had one item with a lower loading than the rest, suggesting these items may be measuring something different. Follow up measurement modeling and profile analysis is the next logical step in determining if there is an important sub-domain that identifies a student group operating differentially. LEARNING OBJECTIVE #1: Understand clinical communication LEARNING OBJECTIVE #2: Describe communication measures
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 4986652

Describing faculty exemplars of medical professionalism [Meeting Abstract]

Lusk, P; Altshuler, L; Monson, V; Buckvar-Keltz, L; Crowe, R; Tewksbury, L; Poag, M; Harnik, V; Rivera, R; Kalet, A
BACKGROUND: Internalizing a strong medical professional identity (PI) is a critical part of medical education. Recent studies of medical students have documented that students' PI, measured by the Professional Identity Essay (PIE), a reflective writing assessment of PI based on Kegan's theory of adult development and Bebeau's developmental model of PI, vary and are impacted by education. Little is known about the PI of exemplary professional physicians. We sought to: 1) describe the PI of physicians who exemplify the highest principles of the medical profession, and 2) evaluate NYU faculty identified as professional exemplars by peers to provide data and demonstrate clear role models for learners METHODS: We elicited nominations for professional exemplar physicians from NYU faculty, chief residents, and 4th-year students, using the definition of professionalism developed by Colby and Damon (1992). Participants were recruited after receiving at least 3 nominations; select participants who received 1 or 2 nominations were also recruited to diversify the participants in terms of specialty, years of practice, gender and race.We also used snowball techniques to get nominations fromstudy participants. After consenting, faculty received the 11-question PIE. We analyzed demographic data of nominated faculty and completed a content analysis of the PIE.
RESULT(S): 206 individual faculty were nominated at least one time by 70 community members. 32 individuals were recruited to the study; to date 22 have completed the PIE. The 206 nominees/22 participants represent: 34/12 specialties, average years in practice 17.6/23.8, range of years in practice 62 for nominees/44 for participants. We identified 3 primary themes through the content analysis: (1) Response to Expectations, "Everything. The profession demands everything.As much as this profession takes fromme, it is dwarfed by what I have received in return." (2) Response to Failure: "I fail to live up to expectations every day. Some days thismotivatesme, other days I disappoint myself." (3) Learning from Others: "I view teaching as integral to medical professionalism." There was a range of developmental levels in the responses with some focusing more on external rather than internal motivations: "I can say that the [malpractice] process for me was very threatening, emotionally consuming and had the potential to alter professional behavior in the wrong way."
CONCLUSION(S): Nominated faculty represented a diverse group with respect to PI. Many participants demonstrated great professionalism and a sense of internal PI in responses to the PIE questions, while others focused onmore externalmotivations to drive their professional behaviors. Further analysis is needed to define the qualities of a true exemplary professional. The range of responses of the exemplars can both serve as role models for learners and provide multiple pathways for learners and faculty to strengthen their own professional identities
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 4803412