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Inge Otto PhD candidate

Selection, assessment & performance

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As students advance in medical school, their learning increasingly takes place in the workplace. Dutch students who follow the master’s degree programme in Medicine typically do internships at not one but several workplaces: during their clerkships students visit numerous hospitals and hospital departments, learning from surgeons, general practitioners, etc. It is through this broad set of experiences that they acquire the basic competencies of a doctor. The educational staff involved usually has two goals. First, they aim for students to learn as much as possible from their clerkship experiences. Second, they wish to ensure that only students graduate who are sufficiently competent as doctors.  For both purposes, the master’s programme uses a set of assessments that students have to do. My research project focuses on workplace-based assessments of students who do their clerkships. I consider assessors’ decision-making and students’ perspectives on these types of assessments. My greatest hope is that my studies help to improve workplace-based assessments in medical education.
Recently, my colleague Lara van Peppen and I organised a series of group discussions and individual interviews with medical students. We asked the students about their experiences with the workplace-based assessments in the clerkships. What do students find important values that should be considered during these assessments? What would their ideal assessment system look like? We are grateful for and proud of the students who made time to talk to us: they were all highly involved, honest and inventive. We will offer the study outcomes to the educational staff of the master’s programme in Medicine at Erasmus MC. The staff will use our results to improve the assessment system in the clerkships. Through publication we also hope to make our study accessible to a bigger audience.
The field of education has fascinated me for a while. When I was a young girl, I dreamt of becoming a primary school teacher, and even set up a little school with my sister (recruiting kids from the neighbourhood as our pupils). Much later, when my sister had become a primary school teacher and I myself a linguist, I rediscovered my fascination. Through small research jobs at higher education institutes and an employment as an educational advisor at a consultancy company, I found a first way into higher education. I learnt that I was most happy when I could contribute to this field through research. In my PhD project at iMERR, I focus on medical education, and aim to improve the way medical students are assessed while they work in different hospitals departments, practising very hard to become competent doctors.
Anyone with questions about medical education, (workplace-based) assessment, or the clerkships could get in touch with me. Please also feel free to contact me if you have questions about Dutch higher education and honours programmes, accreditation, sustainability and SDG’s, and internationalisation - although I focused on these topics mainly in my previous jobs, I may be able to help you a step further.

Overview of Inge's publications: click here