BACKGROUND: Student ratings have dominated as the primary and, frequently, only measure of teaching performance at colleges and universities for the past 50 years. Recently, there has been a trend toward augmenting those ratings with other data sources to broaden and deepen the evidence base. The 360 degrees multisource feedback (MSF) model used in management and industry for half a century and in clinical medicine for the last decade seemed like a best fit to evaluate teaching performance and professionalism. AIM: To adapt the 360 degrees MSF model to the assessment of teaching performance and professionalism of medical school faculty. METHODS: The salient characteristics of the MSF models in industry and medicine were extracted from the literature. These characteristics along with 14 sources of evidence from eight possible raters, including students, self, peers, outside experts, mentors, alumni, employers, and administrators, based on the research in higher education were adapted to formative and summative decisions. RESULTS: Three 360 degrees MSF models were generated for three different decisions: (1) formative decisions and feedback about teaching improvement; (2) summative decisions and feedback for merit pay and contract renewal; and (3) formative decisions and feedback about professional behaviors in the academic setting. The characteristics of each model were listed. Finally, a top-10 list of the most persistent and, perhaps, intractable psychometric issues in executing these models was suggested to guide future research. CONCLUSIONS: The 360 degrees MSF model appears to be a useful framework for implementing a multisource evaluation of faculty teaching performance and professionalism in medical schools. This model can provide more accurate, reliable, fair, and equitable decisions than the one based on just a single source.
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