Joining Hands: Transforming the Clinical Placement Evaluation Process

Tammy Smith, Mary Jesselyn Co

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Evaluating clinical education placements for medical students in rural Victoria, Australia is characterised by student completion of end of placement spot evaluation surveys. This summative approach leaves little time to address any concerns for the benefit of the current student cohort or for other program stakeholders; teachers, administrators or the health service.
Coupled with this is the diversity of evaluation tools used across sites delivering the same course. This diversity means that a complete picture of placements and what is being achieved across the various sites cannot be obtained and common issues may not be identified.
Summary of Work
To ensure that our evaluation process is focused on learning and growth rather than simply achieving objectives, our process introduces a collaborative approach to evaluation and adds continuous monitoring so as to identify, and respond to, trends over time with input from staff, students, health services and where possible, consumers (patients and their families) for the purpose of program improvement.
Summary of Results
We are piloting the process at one site with regular communication of progress across the remaining sites. The move to continuous monitoring has been logistically smooth with careful attention to plentiful provision of explanations and discussion prior to commencement. Monitoring tools have been modified in accordance with user feedback and stakeholders have expressed relief that current program practices have been retained for use as monitoring measures. Extension to other sites will occur once the pilot has been completed and reviewed.
Discussion and Conclusions
Listening, learning and letting the site make decisions and take control of monitoring, evaluation and improvement has been an important driver for stakeholder ownership of, and engagement with the process. Indications thus far suggest that, not only are sites willing and able to self-monitor but their knowledge of local contexts and issues produces extremely rich and usable data. Stakeholders’ motivation to strengthen the program and to support and develop each other is a powerful impetus to persevere.
Take Home Messages
Site stakeholders are invested in their programs and will work to improve them when they have a sense of purpose, direction and control.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020
EventAssociation for Medical Education in Europe 2020: (AMEE) Virtual Conference - Virtual
Duration: 7 Sep 20209 Sep 2020


ConferenceAssociation for Medical Education in Europe 2020
Abbreviated titleAMEE 2020
Internet address

Cite this

Smith, T., & Co, M. J. (2020). Joining Hands: Transforming the Clinical Placement Evaluation Process. 164-164. Abstract from Association for Medical Education in Europe 2020, .