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SACME Virtual Journal Club May Session

  • 29 May 2014
  • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Teleconference/Webinar. PDFs and/or active links to full articles will be provided to all registrants.


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Title: Self-Other Agreement in Multisource Feedback: Are Physicians Really So Bad at Self-Assessment (and Does it Matter)?


Presenter: Curtis Olson, PhD

Facilitator: Barbara Barnes, MD

Background: It is often stated that physicians are not good at self-assessment, and indeed there is a substantial body of evidence that supports this assertion. Multisource feedback is one strategy for addressing this problem and it has been the object of many studies. The present study examines the level of agreement between physician self-assessments and those of their colleagues and patients and explores factors that might influence the degree of agreement. Discussion of this study will raise some important questions about the global assertion that physicians can’t self-assess and suggest future lines of inquiry to enhance our understanding of this important topic.

Questions to be addressed in the discussion include:

  • What is self-assessment and what types of self-assessments are expected of physicians?
  • Why do the authors think self-other agreement in assessments is important?
  • What type of self-assessment was examined in this study?
  • To what extent were the self-assessments of physicians who took part in this study congruent with those of colleagues and patients?
  • What assumptions do the authors make about the relationship between self-other agreement and clinical performance?
  • What does this study contribute to the literature on physician self-assessment and self-other agreement?
  • What is the evidence on the relationship between self-other agreement and performance?
  • What implications might this study have for using MSF?  For using self-assessments generally?

Curt has selected the following recent articles to stimulate discussion on this topic.

Articles for Review in Support of the Discussion:

  • Roberts, M. J., Campbell, J. L., Richards, S. H., & Wright, C. (2013). Self-other agreement in multisource feedback: the influence of doctor and rater group characteristics. J Contin Educ Health Prof, 33(1), 14-23. doi: 10.1002/chp.2116 - read/download article
  • Eva, K. W., & Regehr, G. (2008). "I'll never play professional football" and other fallacies of self-assessment. J Contin Educ Health Prof, 28(1), 14-19. doi: 10.1002/chp.150 - read/download article

Additional readings for those who want to explore the topic further can be found in Roberts et al.’s excellent reference list.

  • Atwater, L. E., Ostroff, C., Yammarino, F. J., & Fleenor, J. W. (1998). Self-other agreement: does it really matter? Personnel Psychology, 51, 577-598.
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