Donnita K. Pelser, BA, BA, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, KS, Mark E. Harrison, BA, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS, Carolyn R. Schmidt, BA, University of Kansas, Wichita, KS
Purpose The purpose of this study is to assess the disparities in the minimum passing score for the pediatric subject exam based on a survey sent to members of COMSEP1. This data has not previously been analyzed or reported.
Background Each third year medical student is required to have a summative exam to test their knowledge in pediatrics at the end of the rotation. Most medical institutions administer the NBME2 subject exam. Each clerkship sets a minimum score or percentile for passing the subject exam which vary greatly across the continuum whose programs must meet the requirements of the LCME3.
There are different sizes of pediatric programs across the United States and Canada. They range from small community to large university or hospital based programs. A literature search did not identify any studies seeking to quantify these differences.
By examining the survey data and displaying the disparities of minimum scores, number of clerkship weeks and enrollment of students, this project could help COMSEP members to work together to close the gaps.
Hypothesis This is a descriptive study. We anticipate finding a wide disparity in clerkship size, length, and minimum pass scores among the respondents. We hope to identify “norms” from the data to help COMSEP members compare their own clerkships to others.
Research Design Descriptive analysis of data already obtained through the annual COMSEP member survey.
Methods COMSEP sends out a member formulated survey every year. The recipients are the pediatric clerkship directors and chairs of the 138 US and 17 Canadian LCME accredited medical schools. The 2011 survey was distributed electronically in October of 2011. We had a 66% response rate to our eight questions. All identifiers will be eliminated prior to passing along the data to the statistician for analysis.
Statistical Analysis Continuous variables will be reported using means with standard deviations, unless medians are more appropriate. Categorical data will be reported as frequencies and percentages. Comparisons will be made between program size and length and minimum pass scores using independent samples t-tests.