Self-reported Competency Ratings of Graduates of a Problem-based Medical Curriculum

University of Groningen, Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Academic Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.93). 06/2001; 76(5):466-8. DOI: 10.1097/00001888-200105000-00018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study the self-reports of professional competencies by graduates of a problem-based medical curriculum.
All graduates from a medical school and a faculty of health sciences with a problem-based curriculum were sent a questionnaire asking them to compare their own performances in 19 domains with those of colleagues trained at schools with conventional curricula.
Overall, alumni of the medical school rated themselves as better than colleagues who were trained at schools with conventional curricula for cooperation skills, problem-solving skills, skills relevant to running meetings, and the ability to work independently. There was no difference for possession of general academic knowledge and writing reports or articles. The self-reported ratings of better competencies were maintained after correcting the data for self-overestimation.
The problem-based medical curriculum appears to contribute to the development of professional competencies. Further study is needed, however, to control for the effect of selection bias and respondents' emotional commitment to their alma mater.

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    • "Graduates have been asked to rate their own competences in areas defined as crucial by the medical school, by the researcher, or from a standard list of generic or specific skills such as those presented in Tomorrow's Doctors (8, 9). Many such studies have also aimed to compare traditional medical training versus problem-based learning (PBL) (10, 11). Few studies have investigated the quality of education based on criteria other than those defined by the medical school or by teaching staff. "
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    • "As a result of this analysis the proportion of inaccurate or illogical responses in a survey about CME habits and information management of physicians was around ten percent. Although some researchers try to correct such inaccuracies [11] it has to be determined how accurate such methods are. "
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    • "These same authors acknowledge however that PBL produces high motivation and enjoyment for students and that richer and deeper learning occurs, aiding the retention of information. It is in the area of self-directed learning and competencies in cooperation that PBL is accredited with superior results (Colliver, 2000; Dyke, Jamrozik & Plant, 2001; Schmidt & Molen, 2001). "
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