Background: Multisource Feedback (MSF) is an evidence-based and validated tool used to provide clinicians feedback on their professional and interpersonal skills. MSF is mandatory for participants in the RACGP Practice Experience Program (PEP) and for some Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Registrars. Given the recency of the PEP, there are currently no benchmarks available for comparison within the PEP and to other comparable cohorts such as AGPT registrars. General practice trainees should demonstrate similar scores given their common goal of fellowship, which will be investigated.
Method: Data comprised the MSF results of PEP participants and AGPT registrars, between January 2018 and April 2020, for statistical comparison. MSF includes up to three measures, the patient questionnaire, colleague questionnaire, and self-evaluation.
Results: PEP doctors demonstrated significantly lower scores on the patient feedback items ability to listen (.98%), explanations (1.1%), express concerns (1.07%), Respect shown (.95%) and time for visit (1.64%). With respect to colleague feedback, colleague responses to PEP doctors (overall average 88.58%) tended to be lower than for AGPT doctors (89.08%). However, this difference was not significant except for the item Communication with patients (2.13%). PEP doctors were rated significantly better for the item Ability to say no (1.78%)
Discussion: The colleague feedback for AGPT registrars and PEP doctors was relatively similar, although communication with patients was rated lower for PEP doctors. This supports the findings from the patient survey where PEP doctors were rated less favourably on several items seemingly related to communication (ability to listen, providing explanations, etc.).
Implications for practice: We now have a better understanding of how PEP doctors compare to AGPT registrars with respect to professional and interpersonal skills. Based on the demonstrated differences, the PEP program might benefit from the addition of education programs that include activities to target the less developed skills.