Jaime L. Pacifico1, Julie Anne S. Villanueva1, Sylvia Heeneman2 & Cees van der Vleuten2

1Internal Medicine, De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute, Philippines; 2Maastricht University, The Netherlands


Any form of assessment activity will act as a stimulus and provoke an educational response. There is a risk however that the response will not result in a beneficial educational response, thus there is a need to monitor and understand the relationship between assessment and learning. This is true at any level of education including postgraduate medical education. To understand how residents perceived assessment, we interviewed 20 residents from the departments of internal medicine and paediatrics. Our goal was to determine how assessment influenced their motivation to accumulate knowledge and skills and attain the competence levels expected of a specialist. We utilised grounded theory to analyse the data. Our results showed that the trainees acknowledged that assessment, in general, has a positive influence on their learning, it motivated them to study and fostered an active learning attitude. A high degree of self-directed learning was also present among the residents. An interplay of new or interesting patient cases, concern for the welfare of the patients, engagement with the consultants, and a supportive environment contributed to creating the motivation for the residents to study.

Keywords:         Assessment, Perceptions, Postgraduate Medical Education, Qualitative Study, Clinical Training

Click here to read the full-text of this article.