Peer assessment has become an important component of physician evaluation. In an academic health sciences centre, in addition to clinical care there is a significant focus on education, training and research. The literature suggests that the use of a 360-degree evaluation can provide physicians with valuable information on many aspects of their practice and can inform both professional and personal development. We conducted a pilot study to determine the feasibility of using peer assessment as part of the evaluation of our academic physicians. To maintain anonymity, an outside company was engaged to conduct the study. Participants completed a self-assessment and provided the names of eight physician peers and eight non-physician peers who were then requested to complete an evaluation. In addition, 25 patients were asked to provide their feedback. All questionnaires were forwarded directly to the outside company, which then compiled the data and provided each participant with a final report. Results indicate that it is feasible to carry out peer assessment within an academic health sciences centre. Participants noted the value of the process for career development and quality improvement.
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