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A Survey of Information Sources Used for Progress Decisions about Medical Students

By Brian E. Mavis PhD, Bridget L. Cole BA and Ruth B. Hoppe MD


Although many medical schools have adopted a variety of methods to assess student competency, the extent to which these innovations have changed how decisions about student progress are made is not clear. This paper describes a survey of 126 accredited allopathic U.S. medical schools to determine which information sources are used for decisions related to medical student progress and graduation. Respondents were asked to indicate up to three information sources used for seven specific decisions about student progress. The results indicate that multiple choice questions (MCQs) and faculty ratings remain the most frequently used information sources. Clinical skills education in the pre-clinical curriculum is the area with the broadest use of assessments for progress decisions. Several explanations are suggested for the primacy of MCQs and faculty ratings in student decisions, including familiarity for faculty and students, ease of implementation and the resources required for the adoption of other assessment strategies

Topics: MEO Peer Reviewed
Year: 2000
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