Learning Initiative

The Diagnosis and Treatment of the Failing Student (Standardized Patient Exam Failures)

by Debra L. Klamen and Reed G. Williams (2010)

169 pages, paper bound

This book is designed for those who work with students in a health care professional field, or residents in any specialty, who are required to take, and pass, standardized patient examinations. Invariably, those who work with such students or residents will find themselves in a position of having a failure of the standardized patient examination, and need to remediate the failing student(s) or resident(s). It is for you that this book is written. The authors' prior publications (see below) have been used extensively by those interested in designing valid and reliable standardized patient examinations, as well as those interested in improving their clinical competency evaluations in general. This book is based on the authors' continuing work and experience with clinical competency examinations, as well as a multitude of other experts in the field. Partial Reference list:
  1. Williams RG, Klamen DL, Hoffman RM. Medical student acquisition of clinical working knowledge. Teach Learn Med. 2008 Jan-Mar;20(1):5-10
  2. Williams RG, Dunnington GL, Klamen DL. Forecasting residents' performance – partly cloudy. Acad Med. 2005 May;80(5):415-22.
  3. Williams RG, Dunnington GL. Prognostic value of resident clinical performance ratings. J Am Coll Surg. 2004 Oct;199(4):620-7.
  4. Williams RG. Have standardized patient examinations stood the test of time and experience? Teach Learn Med. 2004 Spring;16(2):215-22.
  5. Williams RG, Klamen DL, McGaghie WC. Cognitive, social and environmental sources of bias in clinical performance ratings. Teach Learn Med. 2003 Fall;15(4):270-92.
Individual chapters deal with many aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of failing students on standardized patient examinations such as: general approaches to diagnosing standardized patient examination performance problems, use of diagnostic procedures in the approach to the failing student, disorders of information gathering, disorders of reasoning/interpretation/differential diagnosis, disorders of management/treatment planning, disorders of documentation/presentation, disorders of interpersonal and communication skills with patients, disorders of professionalism with colleagues/teams, and disorders of the management of the self. A special second section of the book contains 3 case reports of student failures, in which three student cases are presented to allow the reader an opportunity to practice the skills learned from reading the book. An Appendix gives a list of all diagnoses discussed throughout the book, compiled in a table for easy reference.

SALE Price $5.00 (U.S.) each

click here for an excerpt from the book

Also available for purchase at