BACKGROUND: Peer and self assessment may contribute a unique and insightful perspective to a students' performance. This study investigates the association between self, peer, and faculty evaluations in the intimate setting of a problem-based tutorial group. METHODS: Third-year medical students participating in the required third-year surgical clerkship during the 1996-97 academic year (n = 154) were randomly assigned to problem-based learning groups and completed self and peer evaluations at the end of the last tutorial. These evaluations were compared with expert tutor ratings using Pearson correlation coefficients. RESULTS: A moderate correlation was found between peer and tutor ratings. There was very little correlation between self and tutor ratings. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that peer and self ratings in the setting of a tutorial group may provide additional valuable information regarding medical student performance during a surgery clerkship.
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