Perceived clinical relevance and retention of basic sciences across the medical education continuum

Malau-Aduli, Bunmi, Alele, Faith, Heggarty, Paula, Teague, Peta-ann, Sen Gupta, Tarun, and Hays, Richard (2019) Perceived clinical relevance and retention of basic sciences across the medical education continuum. Advances in Physiology Education, 43 (3). pp. 293-299.

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Medical programs are under pressure to maintain currency with scientific and technical advances, as well as prepare graduates for clinical work and a wide range of postgraduate careers. The value of the basic sciences in primary medical education was assessed by exploring the perceived clinical relevance and test performance trends among medical students, interns, residents, and experienced clinicians. A pilot study conducted in 2014 involved administration of a voluntary 60-item multiple-choice question test to 225 medical students and 4 interns. These participants and 26 teaching clinicians rated the items for clinical relevance. In 2016, a similarly constructed test (main study) was made a mandatory formative assessment, attempted by 563 students in years 2, 4, and 6 and by 120 commencing general practice residents. Test scores, performance trends, clinical relevance ratings, and correlations were assessed using relevant parametric and nonparametric tests. Rank order and pass-fail decisions were also reviewed. The mean test scores were 57% (SD 7.1) and 52% (SD 6.1) for the pilot and main studies, respectively. Highest scores were observed in pathology and social sciences. Overall performance increased with increasing year of study. Test scores were positively correlated with perceived relevance. There were moderate correlations (r = 0.50–0.63; P < 0.001) between participants’ scores in the basic science and summative exams. Assessments may be key to fostering relevance and integration of the basic sciences. Benchmarking knowledge retention and result comparisons across topics are useful in program evaluation.

Item ID: 58808
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1522-1229
Keywords: basic sciences; formative assessment; lifelong learning; medical education; program evaluation
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2019 the American Physiological Society. This article is freely available from the publisher's website.
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 06:28
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390110 Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy @ 90%
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education @ 10%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 80%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement @ 20%
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