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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 262-268

Introduction of Mini-CEX in undergraduate dental education in India

Lecturer, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, STES's Sinhgad Dental College and Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Rohit Behere
759/100, Pramathesh Apts, Prabhat Road, Lane No. 2, Pune - 411 004, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.152187

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Background: Some assessment methods of clinical learners have limitations so that students might not reflect their performance in actual clinical situations. Educational research has so far not yielded a single 'gold-standard' performance assessment tool. Mini-CEX (clinical evaluation exercise) is an instrument intended for work-based assessment of actual clinical performance, including a range of skills like communication and humanistic qualities. It involves direct observation of real patient encounters followed by one-on-one structured feedback sessions between assessors and the trainees. Mini-CEX has already found wide acceptance in medical education but is largely untested in dental education. Methods: Twelve dental undergraduate students underwent one mini-CEX encounter each. Four teachers performed the roles of assessors, directly observing the students and rating their performance using the standardized mini-CEX rating form. A systematic feedback session then took place, following which students' and teachers' perception of the mini-CEX was sought through structured questionnaires. Results: Almost all students appreciated that their communication skills were assessed, but some felt that the presence of a teacher was intimidating. They felt that the constructive feedback helped them reinforce the skills that they did well. The assessors found planning for mini-CEX time consuming and also felt that that their presence had an impact on the students' performance. However, teachers reported that the mini-CEX allows them to assess students' professionalism and communication skills, which are important in dentistry. Discussion: Data from this pilot study supports the use of mini-CES in dental education, but still the need for wider studies remains. It also explains the ways in which undergraduate dental students and teachers find the mini-CEX useful and how it could be improved and used more effectively.

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