Larry Gruppen Selected as Recipient of 2015 John P. Hubbard Award

Posted May 13, 2015

The National Board of Medical Examiners is pleased to announce that Larry D. Gruppen, PhD was selected as the recipient of the 2015 John P. Hubbard Award. The award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the pursuit of excellence in the field of evaluation in medicine. John J. Norcini, PhD, chair of the 2015 Hubbard Award Committee, announced Dr. Gruppen’s selection at the Annual Meeting of the NBME Membership on May 4, 2015.

In presenting the award, Dr. Norcini stated: “In recognition of outstanding contributions to evaluation in medicine, I am pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2015 Hubbard Award is Larry Gruppen. Of consistent high quality, longevity, breadth and diversity, Dr. Gruppen’s research scholarship has illuminated the development and evaluation of expertise in medicine for decades. He is internationally recognized for his research on the evaluation of cognition, learning, and the development of expertise in medicine. His work has contributed new insights to a wide variety of areas such as the usefulness of adaptive testing, the influence of task format on self-assessment, accuracy of self-assessment, evaluation of self-regulated learning, evaluation of professionalism, evaluation of faculty development programs, assessment of competency-based education, validity of simulations, and assessment of clinical reasoning, to mention just a few.

“Dr. Gruppen’s scholarly work in assessment and evaluation has been broad and diverse. Early in his career, he focused on the assessment of clinical reasoning and decision making in diagnostic and treatment problems. He helped to develop creative methods for assessing reasoning biases and decision quality. This research also examined the influence of numerous individual and contextual factors on decision making. He has used his knowledge of clinical reasoning to pioneer the development of a diagnostic pattern recognition examination. Dr. Gruppen has contributed substantially to the advancement of evaluation in medicine through his strong background in cognitive psychology.

“More recently, he and his colleagues developed a sustained program of research on innovative methods for measuring self-assessment accuracy. By utilizing idiographic methods in contrast to the more typical nomothetic approach, they discovered that the common claim that medical students and physicians are poor or inaccurate self-assessors is an over-generalization. Some individuals show consistent accuracy in judging their own performance, whereas others are consistently over- or under-estimators. This finding was repeated under a variety of performance measures and indicates that self-assessment accuracy is arguably better conceived of as a personal characteristic rather than a group generalization. Dr. Gruppen’s work is characterized by asking and answering practical but important questions which often arise in the daily work setting. Importantly, it is often linked to theoretical or learning models and frameworks that promote thinking and discourse.

“Dr. Gruppen’s most recent assessment work and publications have focused on competency frameworks, particularly, procedures for defining competencies and the special challenge of translating these into measurable outcomes. Many of the competencies describe learner performance in areas that have received little if any prior measurement attention. Thus, he is heavily involved in developing new measurement methods that take advantage of workplace activities and products that do not require additional assessment resources. These include the evaluation of responding to clinical pages, extracting and summarizing information from patient charts, and generating post-encounter notes.

“Agreeing with an independent reviewer, I really cannot say enough about how much I respect Larry as a researcher and colleague. He really has had an impact on the research in medical education enterprise in ways that are both tangible and intangible. The quality and quantity of his research are the tangible parts. His congeniality, non-confrontational leadership style and selfless collaboration are the intangible parts. Together, I think the two parts make for a richly deserving Hubbard Award recipient.”

Dr. Gruppen is professor, Department of Learning Health Sciences, at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The NBME established the Hubbard Award in 1983 in special tribute to the late John P. Hubbard, MD. Honoring Dr. Hubbard as a principal, guiding force of the NBME, this award acknowledges his creative and inspired leadership of the organization during his 25-year tenure as its chief executive. Dr. Gruppen deservedly joins the ranks of the distinguished individuals whom the NBME has honored over the years with this prestigious award. His selection as the recipient followed a call for nominations published widely in the spring of 2014. The 2015 Hubbard Award Committee, chaired by John J. Norcini, PhD, included as members Freda M. Bush, MD, Kevin W. Eva, PhD, Graham T. McMahon, MD, MMSc, MA, Miguel A. Paniagua, MD, and Mark R. Raymond, PhD.

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