Curricular reform efforts and a desire to use novel educational strategies that foster student collaboration are challenging the traditional microscope-based teaching of histology. Computer-based histology teaching tools and Virtual Microscopes (VM), computer-based digital slide viewers, have been shown to be effective and efficient educational strategies. We developed an open-source VM system based on the Google Maps engine to transform our histology education and introduce new teaching methods. This VM allows students and faculty to collaboratively create content, annotate slides with markers, and it is enhanced with social networking features to give the community of learners more control over the system. We currently have 1,037 slides in our VM system comprised of 39,386,941 individual JPEG files that take up 349 gigabytes of server storage space. Of those slides 682 are for general teaching and available to our students and the public; the remaining 355 slides are used for practical exams and have restricted access. The system has seen extensive use with 289,352 unique slide views to date. Students viewed an average of 56.3 slides per month during the histology course and accessed the system at all hours of the day. Of the 621 annotations added to 126 slides 26.2% were added by faculty and 73.8% by students. The use of the VM system reduced the amount of time faculty spent administering the course by 210 hours, but did not reduce the number of laboratory sessions or the number of required faculty. Laboratory sessions were reduced from three hours to two hours each due to the efficiencies in the workflow of the VM system. Our virtual microscope system has been an effective solution to the challenges facing traditional histopathology laboratories and the novel needs of our revised curriculum. The web-based system allowed us to empower learners to have greater control over their content, as well as the ability to work together in collaborative groups. The VM system saved faculty time and there was no significant difference in student performance on an identical practical exam before and after its adoption. We have made the source code of our VM freely available and encourage use of the publically available slides on our website.
Although medical education has developed rapidly in the last decade, and the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) is used as the "gold standard" for admission to medical college in mainland China, there is a lack of literature regarding the influence of NCEE score and other factors on the academic performance of medical students. This study aimed to examine potential predictors of first-year grade point average (GPA) for medical students. This study included 1,285 students who matriculated at a first-tier medical university in mainland China in 2011. The precollege motivational attitudes for each matriculate were investigated via questionnaire. A hierarchical linear model was fitted to regress first-year GPA on a 100-point scale on NCEE score and other student-level and major-level characteristics. NCEE score was a significant predictor of both within-major and between-major variation of first-year GPA for medical students. Majors with higher mean NCEE scores had higher mean GPAs, and higher GPAs were observed among those individuals with higher NCEE scores after controlling for major-level characteristics. First-year GPA differed by certain individual socio-demographic variables. Female students had a 2.44-higher GPA on average than did male students. NCEE repeaters had a 1.55-lower GPA than non-repeaters. First-year GPA was associated negatively with parental income but positively with academic self-concept. NCEE score is an important predictor of the first-year GPA of medical students, but it is not the sole determinant. Individual socio-demographic characteristics and major-level characteristics should be taken into account to understand better and improve the first-year GPA of medical students.
Since 1 July 2012, as a result of a labour arbitration ruling in the province of Quebec and the subsequent agreement negotiated by the Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec, all 3,400 medical residents training in Quebec have been on a 16-hour duty schedule for in-house calls. This is a major change within medical teaching sites, as well as a professional and educational challenge for physicians-in-training and their supervisors. The Quebec ruling now raises similar issues for all medical residents in Canada because of its legal basis, namely the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Links between the demanding nature of studies in the health sciences, students' personality traits and psychological distress have been well-established. While considerable amount of work has been done in medicine, evidence from the dental education arena is sparse and data from Latin America are lacking. The authors conducted a large-scale investigation of psychological distress among dental students in Colombia and sought to determine its curriculum and student-level correlates. The Spanish version of the Derogatis' Symptoms Checklist Revised (SCL-90-R) was administered to all students officially registered and attending classes or clinics in 17 dental schools in 4 geographic districts of Colombia between January and April 2012. Additional information was collected on participants' socio-demographic information and first career choice, as well as school's characteristics such as class size. The Global Severity Index (GSI) score, a measure of overall psychological distress, served as the primary analytical endpoint. Analyses relied on multilevel mixed-effects linear and log-binomial regression, accounting for study design and sample characteristics. A total of 5700 dental students completed the survey, a response rate of 67%. Pronounced gradients were noted in the association between socio-economic status and psychological distress, with students in higher strata reporting fewer problems. After adjustment for all important covariates, there was an evident pattern of increasing psychological distress corresponding to the transition from the didactic, to the preclinical and clinical phases of training, with few differences between male and female students. Independent of other factors, reliance on own funds for education and having dentistry as the first career choice were associated with lower psychological distress. Levels of psychological distress correlated with students' socio-economic and study-level characteristics. Above and beyond the influence of person-level factors, variations in levels of distress paralleled specific transitional stages of the 5-year dental curriculum, providing opportunities for targeted interventions.
All medical schools must counsel poor-performing students, address their problems and assist them in developing into competent physicians. The objective of this study was to determine whether students with academic deficiencies in their M-1 year graduate more often, spend less time to complete the curriculum, and need fewer attempts at passing USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 by entering the Decompressed Program prior to failure of the M-1 year than those students who fail the M-1 year and then repeat it. The authors reviewed the performance of M-1 students in the Decompressed Program and compared their outcomes to M-1 students who failed and fully repeated the M-1 year. To compare the groups upon admission, t-Tests comparing the Cognitive Index of students and MCAT scores from both groups were performed. Performance of the two groups after matriculation was also analyzed. Decompressed students were 2.1 times more likely to graduate. Decompressed students were 2.5 times more likely to pass USMLE Step 1 on the first attempt than the repeat students. In addition, 46% of those in the decompressed group completed the program in five years compared to 18% of the repeat group. Medical students who decompress their M-1 year prior to M-1 year failure outperform those who fail their first year and then repeat it. These findings indicate the need for careful monitoring of M-1 student performance and early intervention and counseling of struggling students.
Background: MRCGP and MRCP(UK) are the main entry qualifications for UK doctors entering general [family] practice or hospital [internal] medicine. The performance of MRCP(UK) candidates who subsequently take MRCGP allows validation of each assessment. In the UK, underperformance of ethnic minority doctors taking MRCGP has had a high political profile, with a Judicial Review in the High Court in April 2014 for alleged racial discrimination. Although the legal challenge was dismissed, substantial performance differences between white and BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) doctors undoubtedly exist. Understanding ethnic differences can be helped by comparing the performance of doctors who take both MRCGP and MRCP(UK). Methods: We identified 2,284 candidates who had taken one or more parts of both assessments, MRCP(UK) typically being taken 3.7 years before MRCGP. We analyzed performance on knowledge-based MCQs (MRCP(UK) Parts 1 and 2 and MRCGP Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)) and clinical examinations (MRCGP Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) and MRCP(UK) Practical Assessment of Clinical Skills (PACES)). Results: Correlations between MRCGP and MRCP(UK) were high, disattenuated correlations for MRCGP AKT with MRCP(UK) Parts 1 and 2 being 0.748 and 0.698, and for CSA and PACES being 0.636. BME candidates performed less well on all five assessments (P < .001). Correlations disaggregated by ethnicity were complex, MRCGP AKT showing similar correlations with Part1/Part2/PACES in White and BME candidates, but CSA showing stronger correlations with Part1/Part2/PACES in BME candidates than in White candidates. CSA changed its scoring method during the study; multiple regression showed the newer CSA was better predicted by PACES than the previous CSA. Conclusions: High correlations between MRCGP and MRCP(UK) support the validity of each, suggesting they assess knowledge cognate to both assessments. Detailed analyses by candidate ethnicity show that although White candidates out-perform BME candidates, the differences are largely mirrored across the two examinations. Whilst the reason for the differential performance is unclear, the similarity of the effects in independent knowledge and clinical examinations suggests the differences are unlikely to result from specific features of either assessment and most likely represent true differences in ability.
Although mentoring is acknowledged as a key to successful and satisfying careers in medicine, formal mentoring programs for medical students are lacking in most countries. Within the framework of planning a mentoring program for medical students at Zurich University, an investigation was carried out into what types of programs exist, what the objectives pursued by such programs are, and what effects are reported. A PubMed literature search was conducted for 2000 - 2008 using the following keywords or their combinations: mentoring, mentoring program, medical student, mentor, mentee, protégé, mentorship. Although a total of 438 publications were identified, only 25 papers met the selection criteria for structured programs and student mentoring surveys. The mentoring programs reported in 14 papers aim to provide career counseling, develop professionalism, increase students' interest in research, and support them in their personal growth. There are both one-to-one and group mentorships, established in the first two years of medical school and continuing through graduation. The personal student-faculty relationship is important in that it helps students to feel that they are benefiting from individual advice and encourages them to give more thought to their career choices. Other benefits are an increase in research productivity and improved medical school performance in general. Mentored students also rate their overall well-being as higher. - The 11 surveys address the requirements for being an effective mentor as well as a successful mentee. A mentor should empower and encourage the mentee, be a role model, build a professional network, and assist in the mentee's personal development. A mentee should set agendas, follow through, accept criticism, and be able to assess performance and the benefits derived from the mentoring relationship. Mentoring is obviously an important career advancement tool for medical students. In Europe, more mentoring programs should be developed, but would need to be rigorously assessed based on evidence of their value in terms of both their impact on the career paths of juniors and their benefit for the mentors. Medical schools could then be monitored with respect to the provision of mentorships as a quality characteristic.
In 2003 the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education mandated work hour restrictions. Violations can results in a residency program being cited or placed on probation. Recurrent violations could results in loss of accreditation. We wanted to determine specific intern and workload factors associated with violation of a specific mandate, the 30-hour duty period requirement. Retrospective review of interns' performance against the 30-hour duty period requirement during inpatient ward rotations at a pediatric residency program between June 24, 2008 and June 23, 2009. The analytical plan included both univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses. Twenty of the 26 (77%) interns had 80 self-reported episodes of continuous work hours greater than 30 hours. In multivariable analysis, noncompliance was inversely associated with the number of prior inpatient rotations (odds ratio: 0.49, 95% confidence interval (0.38, 0.64) per rotation) but directly associated with the total number of patients (odds ratio: 1.30 (1.10, 1.53) per additional patient). The number of admissions on-call, number of admissions after midnight and number of discharges post-call were not significantly associated with noncompliance. The level of noncompliance also varied significantly between interns after accounting for intern experience and workload factors. Subject to limitations in statistical power, we were unable to identify specific intern characteristics, such as demographic variables or examination scores, which account for the variation in noncompliance between interns. Both intern and workload factors were associated with pediatric intern noncompliance with the 30-hour duty period requirement during inpatient ward rotations. Residency programs must develop information systems to understand the individual and experience factors associated with noncompliance and implement appropriate interventions to ensure compliance with the duty hour regulations.
Professionalism is deemed as the basis of physicians' contract with society in Japan. Our study in 2005, using a questionnaire with scenarios to professionalism, suggested that many physicians at various levels of training in Japan encounter challenges when responding to these common scenarios related to professionalism. It is unclear how medical professionalism has changed among Japanese residents in over time. We conducted a follow-up survey about challenges to professionalism for Japanese residents using the same Barry Questionnaire after a seven-year interval from the prior survey. The survey uses six clinical scenarios with multiple choice responses. The six cases include the following challenges: acceptance of gifts; conflict of interest; confidentiality; physician impairment; sexual harassment; and honesty in documentation. Each scenario is followed by 4 or 5 possible responses, including the "best" and the "second best" responses. The survey was conducted as a part of nationwide general medicine in-training examination. We collected data from 1,049 participants (290 women, 28%; 431 PGY-1 and 618 PGY-2 residents). Overall, the current residents performed better than their colleagues in the earlier survey for five scenarios (gifts, conflict of interest, confidentiality, impairment, and honesty) but not for the harassment scenario. PGY-2 residents were more likely to select either the best or 2nd best choices to gifts (p = 0.002) and harassment (p = 0.031) scenarios than PGY-1 residents. Residents in the current study chose either the best or 2nd best choices to the gifts (p < 0.001) and honesty (p < 0.001) scenarios than those of the previous study conducted seven years ago, but not for the harassment scenario (p = 0.004). Our study suggests that there is improvement of medical professionalism with respect to some ethical challenges among the Japanese residents in the current study compared to those in our previous study.
The United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is a set of cognitive tests introduced in 2006, taken annually before application to medical school. The UKCAT is a test of aptitude and not acquired knowledge and as such the results give medical schools a standardised and objective tool that all schools could use to assist their decision making in selection, and so provide a fairer means of choosing future medical students.Selection of students for U.K. medical schools is usually in three stages: assessment of academic qualifications, assessment of further qualities from the application form submitted via UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) leading to invitation to interview, and then selection for offer of a place. Medical schools were informed of the psychometric qualities of the UKCAT subtests and given some guidance regarding the interpretation of results. Each school then decided how to use the results within its own selection system. Annual retrospective key informant telephone interviews were conducted with every UKCAT Consortium medical school, using a pre-circulated structured questionnaire. The key points of the interview were transcribed, 'member checked' and a content analysis was undertaken. Four equally popular ways of using the test results have emerged, described as Borderline, Factor, Threshold and Rescue methods. Many schools use more than one method, at different stages in their selection process. Schools have used the scores in ways that have sought to improve the fairness of selection and support widening participation. Initially great care was taken not to exclude any applicant on the basis of low UKCAT scores alone but it has been used more as confidence has grown. There is considerable variation in how medical schools use UKCAT, so it is important that they clearly inform applicants how the test will be used so they can make best use of their limited number of applications.
Selection into medical school is highly competitive with more applicants than places. Little is known about the preparation that applicants undertake for this high stakes process. The study aims to determine what preparatory activities applicants undertake and what difficulties they encounter for each stage of the application process to medical school and in particular what impact these have on the outcome. A cross-sectional survey of 1097 applicants who applied for a place in the University of Adelaide Medical School in 2007 and participated in the UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test) and oral assessment components of the selection process. The main outcome measures were an offer of an interview and offer of a place in the medical school and were analysed using logistic regression. The odds of a successful outcome increased with each additional preparatory activity undertaken for the UMAT (odds ratio 1.22, 95% confidence interval 1.11 to 1.33; P < 0.001) and the oral assessment (1.36, 1.19 to 1.55; P < 0.001) stage of selection. The UMAT preparatory activities associated with the offer of an interview were attendance of a training course by a private organisation (1.75, 1.35 to 2.27: P < 0.001), use of online services of a private organisation (1.58, 1.23 to 2.04; P < 0.001), and familiarising oneself with the process (1.52, 1.15 to 2.00; p = 0.021). The oral assessment activities associated with an offer of a place included refining and learning a personal resume (9.73, 2.97 to 31.88; P < 0.001) and learning about the course structure (2.05, 1.29 to 3.26; P = 0.022).For the UMAT, applicants who found difficulties with learning for this type of test (0.47, 0.35 to 0.63: P < 0.001), with the timing of UMAT in terms of school exams (0.48, 0.5 to 0.66; P < 0.001) and with the inability to convey personal skills with the UMAT (0.67, 0.52 to 0.86; P = 0.026) were significantly less likely to be offered an interview. Medical schools make an enormous effort to undertake a selection process that is fair and equitable and which selects students most appropriate for medical school and the course they provide. Our results indicate that performance in the selection processes can be improved by training. However, if these preparatory activities may be limited to those who can access them, the playing field is not even and increasing equity of access to medical schools will not be achieved.
Background The UK medical graduates of 2008 and 2009 were among the first to experience a fully implemented, new, UK training programme, called the Foundation Training Programme, for junior doctors. We report doctors¿ views of the first Foundation year, based on comments made as part of a questionnaire survey covering career choices, plans, and experiences.Methods Postal and email based questionnaires about career intentions, destinations and views were sent in 2009 and 2010 to all UK medical graduates of 2008 and 2009. This paper is a qualitative study of `free-text¿ comments made by first-year doctors when invited to comment, if they wished, on any aspect of their work, education, training, and future.ResultsThe response rate to the surveys was 48% (6220/12952); and 1616 doctors volunteered comments. Of these, 61% wrote about their first year of training, 35% about the working conditions they had experienced, 33% about how well their medical school had prepared them for work, 29% about their future career, 25% about support from peers and colleagues, 22% about working in medicine, and 15% about lifestyle issues. When concerns were expressed, they were commonly about the balance between service provision, administrative work, and training and education, with the latter often suffering when it conflicted with the needs of medical service provision. They also wrote that the quality of a training post often depended on the commitment of an individual senior doctor. Service support from seniors was variable and some respondents complained of a lack of team work and team ethic. Excessive hours and the lack of time for reflection and career planning before choices about the future had to be made were also mentioned. Some doctors wrote that their views were not sought by their hospital and that NHS management structures did not lend themselves to efficiency. UK graduates from non-UK homes felt insecure about their future career prospects in the UK. There were positive comments about opportunities to train flexibly.Conclusions Although reported problems should be considered in the wider context, in which the majority held favourable overall views, many who commented had been disappointed by aspects of their first year of work. We hope that the concerns raised by our respondents will prompt trainers, locally, to determine, by interaction with junior staff, whether or not these are concerns in their own training programme.
In 2011, the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education implemented updated guidelines for medical resident duty hours, further limiting continuous work hours for first-year residents. We sought to investigate the impact of these restrictions on graduate medical education among internal medicine residents. We conducted eight focus groups with internal medicine residents at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 06/2012-07/2012. Discussion questions included, "How do you feel the 2011 ACGME work hour restrictions have impacted your graduate medical education?" Transcripts of the focus groups were reviewed and themes identified using a deductive/inductive approach. Participants completed a survey to collect demographic information and future practice plans. Thirty-four residents participated in our focus groups. Five themes emerged: decreased teaching, decreased experiential learning, shift-work mentality, tension between residency classes, and benefits and opportunities. Residents reported that since implementation of the guidelines, teaching was often deferred to complete patient-care tasks. Residents voiced concern that PGY-1 s were not receiving adequate clinical experience and that procedural and clinical reasoning skills are being negatively impacted. PGY-1 s reported being well-rested and having increased time for independent study. Residents noted a decline in teaching and are concerned with the decrease in "hands-on" clinical education that is inevitably impacted by fewer hours in the hospital, though some benefits were also reported. Future studies are needed to further elucidate the impact of decreased resident work hours on graduate medical education.
Contributing reviewers The Editors of BMC Medical Imaging would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 13 (2013)
The Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test (GAMSAT) is undertaken annually in centres around Australia and a small number of overseas locations. Most Australian graduate entry medical schools also use Grade Point Average and interview score for selection. The aim of this study was to review the performance of the GAMSAT over the last 10 years; the study provides an analysis of the impact of candidates' gender, age, language background, level of academic qualification and background discipline on performance; and details on the performance of higher-scoring candidates. These analyses were undertaken on the 2014 data; and trends in the data over the 10-year period are noted. In reviewing performance, the main variables considered were: - Overall GAMSAT score and scores for Section 1, Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences, Section 2, Written Communication, and Section 3, Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences. - Proportions of candidates achieving a Typical Entry Score. - Impact of gender, age, language background, level of academic qualification and undergraduate course (i.e. subject discipline) on test scores. Descriptive statistics and tests of significance were applied to determine the impact of demographic variables on performance. The number of candidates is increasing. Test reliability is consistently high. Higher scores overall are more likely for candidates who are male; are less than 24 years old; have an English-speaking background; have an Honours degree or a doctorate; and have completed a degree which is not health-related. Performance of the GAMSAT exam over the last 10 years has been stable with high reliability. There are significant variations in candidate performance related to age, gender, level and discipline of previous academic study and language background.
Medical ethics has existed since the time of Hippocrates. However, formal training in bioethics did not become established until a few decades ago. Bioethics has gained a strong foothold in health sciences in the developed world, especially in Europe and North America. The situation is quite different in many developing countries. In most African countries, bioethics - as established and practiced today in the west- is either non-existent or is rudimentary. Though bioethics has come of age in the developed and some developing countries, it is still largely "foreign" to most African countries. In some parts of Africa, some bioethics conferences have been held in the past decade to create research ethics awareness and ensure conformity to international guidelines for research with human participants. This idea has arisen in recognition of the genuine need to develop capacity for reviewing the ethics of research in Africa. It is also a condition required by external sponsors of collaborative research in Africa. The awareness and interest that these conferences have aroused need to be further strengthened and extended beyond research ethics to clinical practice. By and large, bioethics education in schools that train doctors and other health care providers is the hook that anchors both research ethics and clinical ethics. This communication reviews the current situation of bioethics in Africa as it applies to research ethics workshops and proposes that in spite of the present efforts to integrate ethics into biomedical research in Africa, much still needs to be done to accomplish this. A more comprehensive approach to bioethics with an all-inclusive benefit is to incorporate formal ethics education into health training institutions in Africa.
Recently, many scientists including bacteriologists have begun to focus on social aspects of antibiotic management especially the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) among the general population regarding antibiotic use. However, relatively few works have published on the relationship between KAP and medical education. In this study, we analyze the present status of Chinese medical (MS)- and non-medical (NS) students' KAP on the use of antibiotics, and examine the influence of Chinese medical curriculum on the appropriate usage of antibiotics among medical students. In this study, 2500 students from 3 universities (including one medical university) in Northeastern China participate in the questionnaire survey on students' knowledge, attitude and practice toward antibiotic usage. Wilcoxon rank sum test and Chi square test were used to analyze questionnaire-related discrete and categorical variables respectively, in order to assess the impact of the medical curriculum on students' KAP towards antibiotics. 2088 (83.5%) respondents (MS-1236 and NS-852) were considered valid for analysis. The level of knowledge of MS on the proper use of antibiotics was significantly higher than that of NS (p < 0.0001). However, based on their responses on actual practice, MS were found to rely on antibiotics more than NS (p < 0.0001). Moreover, the knowledge and attitude of MS towards antibiotic use improved with the increase in grade with discriminate use of antibiotics concurrently escalating during the same period. This study indicates that Chinese medical curriculum significantly improves students' knowledge on antibiotics and raises their attention on antibiotic resistance that may result from indiscriminate use of antibiotics. The study also shows an excessive use of antibiotics especially among the more senior medical students, signifying a deficiency of antibiotics usage instruction in their curriculum. This might explain why there are frequent abuses of antibiotics in both hospital and community settings from a certain angle.
Many countries have recently reformed their postgraduate medical education (PGME). New pedagogic initiatives and blueprints have been introduced to improve quality and effectiveness of the education. Yet it is unknown whether these changes improved the daily clinical training. The purpose was to examine the impact of a national PGME reform on the daily clinical training practice. The Danish reform included change of content and format of specialist education in line with outcome-based education using the CanMEDS framework. We performed a questionnaire survey among all hospital doctors in the North Denmark Region. The questionnaire included items on educational appraisal meetings, individual learning plans, incorporating training issues into work routines, supervision and feedback, and interpersonal acquaintance. Data were collected before start and 31/2 years later. Mean score values were compared, and response variables were analysed by multiple regression to explore the relation between the ratings and seniority, type of hospital, type of specialty, and effect of attendance to courses in learning and teaching among respondents. Response rates were 2105/2817 (75%) and 1888/3284 (58%), respectively. We found limited impact on clinical training practice and learning environment. Variances in ratings were hardly affected by type of hospital, whereas belonging to the laboratory specialities compared to other specialties was related to higher ratings concerning all aspects. The impact on daily clinical training practice of a national PGME reform was limited after 31/2 years. Future initiatives must focus on changing the pedagogical competences of the doctors participating in daily clinical training and on implementation strategies for changing educational culture.
While medicine in general is becoming more female-dominated, women are still under-represented in surgery. Opinion is divided as to whether this is due to lifestyle considerations, disinterest or perceived discrimination. It is not clear at what stage these careers decisions are made. 300 first year medical students at Guy's King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine (GKT) were asked their view on possible career choices at this stage. While men represented only 38% of the student population, they represented over two-thirds of the students wishing to pursue a career in surgery. Women still opt for general practice and paediatrics. Surgery is a disproportionately unpopular career choice of the female first-year medical students of GKT compared to the male students. It appears that the choice is freely made and, at this stage at least, does not represent concerns about compatibility with lifestyle.
Since August 2009, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom has faced the challenge of delivering training for junior doctors within a 48-hour working week, as stipulated by the European Working Time Directive and legislated in the UK by the Working Time Regulations 1998. Since that time, widespread concern has been expressed about the impact of restricted duty hours on the quality of postgraduate medical training in the UK, particularly in the "craft" specialties - that is, those disciplines in which trainees develop practical skills that are best learned through direct experience with patients. At the same time, specialist training in the UK has experienced considerable change since 2007 with the introduction of competency-based specialty curricula, workplace-based assessment, and the annual review of competency progression. The challenges presented by the reduction of duty hours include increased pressure on doctors-in-training to provide service during evening and overnight hours, reduced interaction with supervisors, and reduced opportunities for learning. This paper explores these challenges and proposes potential responses with respect to the reorganization of training and service provision.
The script concordance test (SCT) is a method for assessing clinical reasoning of medical students by placing them in a context of uncertainty such as they will encounter in their future daily practice. Script concordance testing is going to be included as part of the computer-based national ranking examination (iNRE).This study was designed to create a script concordance test in rheumatology and use it for DCEM3 (fifth year) medical students administered via the online platform of the Clermont-Ferrand medical school. Our SCT for rheumatology teaching was constructed by a panel of 19 experts in rheumatology (6 hospital-based and 13 community-based). One hundred seventy-nine DCEM3 (fifth year) medical students were invited to take the test. Scores were computed using the scoring key available on the University of Montreal website. Reliability of the test was estimated by the Cronbach alpha coefficient for internal consistency. The test comprised 60 questions. Among the 26 students who took the test (26/179: 14.5%), 15 completed it in its entirety. The reference panel of rheumatologists obtained a mean score of 76.6 and the 15 students had a mean score of 61.5 (p = 0.001). The Cronbach alpha value was 0.82. An online SCT can be used as an assessment tool for medical students in rheumatology. This study also highlights the active participation of community-based rheumatologists, who accounted for the majority of the 19 experts in the reference panel.A script concordance test in rheumatology for 5th year medical students.
The Script Concordance Test (SCT) has not been reported in summative assessment of students across the multiple domains of a medical curriculum. We report the steps used to build a test for summative assessment in a medical curriculum. A 51 case, 158-question, multidisciplinary paper was constructed to assess clinical reasoning in 5th-year. 10-16 experts in each of 7 discipline-based reference panels answered questions on-line. A multidisciplinary group considered reference panel data and data from a volunteer group of 6th Years, who sat the same test, to determine the passing score for the 5th Years. The mean (SD) scores were 63.6 (7.6) and 68.6 (4.8) for the 6th Year (n = 23, alpha = 0.78) and and 5th Year (n = 132, alpha =0.62) groups (p < 0.05), respectively. The passing score was set at 4 SD from the expert mean. Four students failed. The SCT may be a useful method to assess clinical reasoning in medical students in multidisciplinary summative assessments. Substantial investment in training of faculty and students and in the development of questions is required.
Abstract Background The health care system of Ethiopia is facing a serious shortage of health workforce. While a number of strategies have been developed to improve the training and retention of medical doctors in the country, understanding the perceptions and attitudes of medical students towards their training, future practice and intent to migrate can contribute in addressing the problem. This study was carried out to assess the attitudes of Ethiopian medical students towards their training and future practice of medicine, and to identify factors associated with the intent to practice in rural or urban settings, or to migrate abroad. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in June 2009 among 600 medical students (Year I to Internship program) of the Faculty of Medicine at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. A pre-tested self-administered structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Descriptive statistics were used for data summarization and presentation. Degree of association was measured by Chi Square test, with significance level set at p
Background Exams are essential components of medical students¿ knowledge and skill assessment during their clinical years of study. The paper provides a retrospective analysis of validity evidence for the internal medicine component of the written and clinical exams administered in 2012 and 2013 at King Abdulaziz University¿s Faculty of Medicine.Methods Students¿ scores for the clinical and written exams were obtained. Four faculty members (two senior members and two junior members) were asked to rate the exam questions, including MCQs and OSCEs, for evidence of content validity using a rating scale of 1¿5 for each item.Cronbach¿s alpha was used to measure the internal consistency reliability. Correlations were used to examine the associations between different forms of assessment and groups of students.ResultsA total of 824 students completed the internal medicine course and took the exam. The numbers of rated questions were 320 and 46 for the MCQ and OSCE, respectively. Significant correlations were found between the MCQ section, the OSCE section, and the continuous assessment marks, which include 20 long-case presentations during the course; participation in daily rounds, clinical sessions and tutorials; the performance of simple procedures, such as IV cannulation and ABG extraction; and the student log book.Although the OSCE exam was reliable for the two groups that had taken the final clinical OSCE, the clinical long- and short-case exams were not reliable across the two groups that had taken the oral clinical exams. The correlation analysis showed a significant linear association between the raters with respect to evidence of content validity for both the MCQ and OSCE, r¿=¿.219 P¿<¿.001 and r¿=¿.678 P¿<¿.001, respectively, and r¿=¿.241 P¿<¿.001 and r¿=¿.368 P¿=¿.023 for the internal structure validity, respectively. Reliability measured using Cronbach¿s alpha was greater for assessments administered in 2013.Conclusion The pattern of relationships between the MCQ and OSCE scores provides evidence of the validity of these measures for use in the evaluation of knowledge and clinical skills in internal medicine. The OSCE exam is more reliable than the short- and long-case clinical exams and requires less effort on the part of examiners and patients.
Background Reflection on professional experience is increasingly accepted as a critical attribute for health care practice; however, evidence that it has a positive impact on performance remains scarce. This study investigated whether, after allowing for the effects of knowledge and consultation skills, reflection had an independent effect on students’ ability to solve problem cases. Methods Data was collected from 362 undergraduate medical students at Ghent University solving video cases and reflected on the experience of doing so. For knowledge and consultation skills results on a progress test and a course teaching consultation skills were used respectively. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis was used to test the relationship between the quality of case-solving (dependent variable) and reflection skills, knowledge, and consultation skills (dependent variables). Results Only students with data on all variables available (n = 270) were included for analysis. The model was significant (Anova F(3,269) = 11.00, p < 0.001, adjusted R square 0.10) with all variables significantly contributing. Conclusion Medical students’ reflection had a small but significant effect on case-solving, which supports reflection as an attribute for performance. These findings suggest that it would be worthwhile testing the effect of reflection skills training on clinical competence.