Young doctors outscore older colleagues in 360-degree assessment

Doctors, especially young doctors, have emerged with shining halos from the first recent formal UK assessment of 360-degree multi-source feedback.

Young doctors outscored older colleagues in £200,000 GMC-funded research into evidence that form a key element of revalidation.

Multi-source feedback requires patients and colleagues to assess a doctor's skills.

Using questionnaires developed by the GMC, research led by John Campbell, Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Peninsula Medical School, showed that patient and colleague responses were ‘highly skewed towards favourable impressions of doctor performance'.

The research also showed that patients and colleagues rated ‘different and complementary' aspects of doctors' performance, showing that both sources of feedback are needed.

But the researchers cautioned against ‘identifying any of the doctors who participated in the study as displaying deficient performance', warning that more research is needed to see whether good questionnaire ratings accurately reflect professional performance.

Professor Campbell is now working on embedding the 360-degree feedback into appraisal in a handful of PCTs.

‘We want to get a wider range of performance that we couldn't get from volunteers,' he said.

GMC questionnaires

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