Comparing performance among male and female candidates in sex- specific clinical knowledge in the MRCGP

Siriwardena, A. Niroshan and Irish, Bill and Asghar, Zahid and Milne, Paul and Dixon, Hilton and Neden, Catherine and Richardson, Jo and Blow, Carol (2012) Comparing performance among male and female candidates in sex- specific clinical knowledge in the MRCGP. British Journal of General Practice, 62 (599). e446-e450. ISSN 0960-1643

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Comparing performance among male and female candidates in sex- specific clinical knowledge in the MRCGP
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Abstract

Background
Patients often seek doctors of the same sex, particularly for sex-specific complaints and also because of a perception that doctors have greater knowledge of complaints relating to their own sex. Few studies have investigated differences in knowledge by sex of candidate on
sex-specific questions inmedical examinations.
Aim
The aim was to compare the performance of males and females in sex-specific questions in a 200-item computer-based applied knowledge test for licensing UK GPs.
Design and setting
A cross-sectional design using routinely collected performance and demographic data from the first three versions of the Applied Knowledge Test, MRCGP, UK.
Method
Questions were classified as female specific,male specific, or sex neutral. The performance of males and females was analysed using multiple analysis of covariance after adjusting for sex-neutral score and demographic confounders.
Results
Data were included from 3627 candidates. After adjusting for sex-neutral score, age, time since qualification, year of speciality training, ethnicity, and country of primarymedical qualification, there were differences in performance in sex specific questions. Males performed worse than females on female-specific questions (–4.2%, 95%confidence interval [CI] = –5.7 to –2.6) but did not perform significantly better than females on male-specific questions (0.3%, 95%CI = –2.6 to 3.2%).
Conclusion
There was evidence of better performance by females in female-specific questions but this was small relative to the size of the test. Differential performance of males and females in sex specific questions in a licensing examination may have implications for vocational and post qualification
general practice training.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:primary care, general practice, assessment, knowledge, examination, medical licensing, learning, medical education, sex
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A300 Clinical Medicine
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:5787
Deposited By: Niro Siriwardena
Deposited On:06 Jun 2012 04:34
Last Modified:18 Jun 2013 12:02

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