National exit exam: yes or no?



Study by DAEllis

In advance of  tonight’s #ukmeded chat a great post has been written by @mintygreenmedic and her friends. You can find it here.  They have had a lot of discussion already and I am pretty certain that there will be a lot of interesting tweets on this topic.

The blog links to several very useful resources. A survey in 2007  showed that the majority of students didn’t want a national exit exam. And the UK Medical Schools Council sets out their position here. In 2008 at least they were not in support of it because they thought that there was no desire for it, and it would cost a lot of money and take a lot of effort. They were also against increased competiveness between medical schools, through the ranking of schools that an exam might lead to. They cite the McManus paper which shows that the biggest predictor of how students do in postgrad exams is the Alevels they got. We discussed this paper a few years ago in Twitter journal club and a very interesting discussion it was too!

It’s also interesting to look across to the US where USMLE is a national exit exam and is used to rank students for entry to specialty programmes. I’m told that there was talk of moving to a pass/fail exam and using other ways to select for specialties. Interestingly, a survey of students shows that the majority did want a numerical score and did want this to be used for selection to training as they thought it was fairer.

So what do you think?


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