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The internal consistency of medical students′ scores in their physiopathology and clinical courses

Author(s): Esmaeili Aryan | Haghdoost Ali-Akbar

Journal: Indian Journal of Medical Sciences
ISSN 0019-5359

Volume: 62;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 267;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Difficulty index | discrimination index | Iran | medical education | validity

Background: To quantify the internal consistency of medical students′ scores. Aim: We assessed the associations between medical students′ scores in physiopathology and clinical courses and compared these scores with their scores in their comprehensive exams. Settings and Design: We collected medical students′ scores in their courses and also in their comprehensive exam in six consecutive years. Materials and Methods: We assessed the associations between students′ scores and their personal characteristics, and the consistency between theoretical and practical courses. Statistical Analysis: We used Pearson correlation coefficient and linear regression. In addition, we computed difficulty and discrimination indices of students′ scores in their courses by comparing these scores with comprehensive clinical exam (CCE). Results: Generally, females and younger students were more successful. CCE were predicted by students′ scores and their characteristics relatively accurate (the adjusted R2 of the model was 0.59). Students′ scores in the pathology and in thesis had the maximum and minimum discrimination indices, while the difficulties of these two courses were in reverse order. The strongest association was observed between theoretical and practical scores in internal medicine while the associations between theoretical and practical scores in the other courses were not strong although all of them were statistically significant. Conclusions: Using this approach to explore the students′ score, might highlight the weak points of the current educational system. For example we found that the students′ score in thesis had the minimum accuracy; although students obtained very high score in this course. Hence, for better comparison of the accuracy students′ scores in colleges around the world, we recommend similar quantitative approach
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