Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Decline In Performance Of Candidates Taking A Postgraduate Medical Examination Between 1997 And 2001

Date:
July 21, 2005
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
The performance of doctors taking a postgraduate medical exam declined between 1997 and 2001, reveals a study carried out by the Royal Colleges of Physicians and published today in the Open Access journal BMC Medicine.

After a steady increase between 1985 and 1997, the overall performance of postgraduate students taking the Part 1 examination of the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, MRCP (UK), which is a part of higher specialist training, showed a decline from 1997 until 2001. Performance on specific exam questions that were repeated across the years was 14.1% lower in 2001 than in 1996.
Credit: Image courtesy of BioMed Central

The performance of doctors taking a postgraduate medical exam declined between 1997 and 2001, reveals a study carried out by the Royal Colleges of Physicians and published today in the Open Access journal BMC Medicine.

Related Articles


After a steady increase between 1985 and 1997, the overall performance of postgraduate students taking the Part 1 examination of the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, MRCP (UK), which is a part of higher specialist training, showed a decline from 1997 until 2001. Performance on specific exam questions that were repeated across the years was 14.1% lower in 2001 than in 1996.

"There has been a decline in the performance of graduates from UK medical schools taking the MRCP(UK) Part 1 examination. The reasons for this are not clear, but the finding has implications for medical education, and further studies are needed of performance in other postgraduate and undergraduate examinations" write Professor Chris McManus from University College London, UK, and colleagues from the Royal Colleges of Physicians, the authors of the study.

"The role of postgraduate medical examinations is to set standards of practice and thus to assure the public and the medical profession that doctors have the knowledge and expertise required to diagnose and treat patients, and to progress in their medical careers", explain the authors.

McManus et al assessed the performance of students on 'marker questions' -- questions that were repeated in different MRCP (UK) examinations held between 1985 and 2001, and which allow performance to be compared from one year to another. Overall, the ability of examination candidates increased from 1985 to 1997, after which it declined sharply: on a graphical representation of the results, the curve has a clear 'dog-leg' shape, which rises until 1997 and then drops sharply in the subsequent years.

In the second part of the study, the researchers compared the performance in an examination that took place in 1996 and another one that was held in 2001. The results show that fewer candidates who passed the examination in 2001 gave correct answers than had equivalents in 1996 and the candidates' mean score decreased from 69.4 in 1996 to 59.6 in 2001.

"The 'dog-leg' in performance [in] 1997 was not an artefact of changed Examination Regulations, mix of UK and overseas candidates, or time from qualification until taking the Examination", write the authors. "Study 2 confirmed that performance in 2001 was significantly worse than in 1996, that the poorer performance was found in graduates of UK medical schools, and that candidates passing the Examination in 2001 performed less well than those passing in 1996."

Reliance in the past on 'norm-referencing' for setting the pass mark, when a fixed proportion of candidates was allowed to pass at each examination, meant that candidates passing the examination at the end of this period had a somewhat lower standard. Norm referencing was abandoned by the MRCP(UK) in 2002 in favour of 'criterion-referencing', in which examiners determine the pass mark by assessing the desirable knowledge based on individual questions. Thus the standard required to pass all components of the examination is now fixed and independent of the standard of the candidates sitting at that diet.

###

This press release is based on the article:
Changes in standard of candidates taking the MRCP(UK) Part 1 examination, 1985 to 2002: Analysis of marker questions
I C McManus, J Mollon, O L Duke, J A Vale
BMC Medicine 2005 3:13 (18 July 2005)

This article is available free of charge, according to BMC Medicine's Open Access policy at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/3/13/abstract


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Decline In Performance Of Candidates Taking A Postgraduate Medical Examination Between 1997 And 2001." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050720070228.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2005, July 21). Decline In Performance Of Candidates Taking A Postgraduate Medical Examination Between 1997 And 2001. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050720070228.htm
BioMed Central. "Decline In Performance Of Candidates Taking A Postgraduate Medical Examination Between 1997 And 2001." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050720070228.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins