Evaluation of a postgraduate examination for primary care: perceptions and performance of general practitioner trainers in the multiple choice paper of the Membership Examination of the Royal College of General Practitioners

Dixon, Hilton and Blow, Carol and Irish, Bill and Milne, Paul and Siriwardena, A. Niroshan (2007) Evaluation of a postgraduate examination for primary care: perceptions and performance of general practitioner trainers in the multiple choice paper of the Membership Examination of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Education for Primary Care, 18 . pp. 165-172. ISSN 1475-990x

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Evaluation of a postgraduate examination for primary care: perceptions and performance of general practitioner trainers in the multiple choice paper of the Membership Examination of the Royal College of General Practitioners
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Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the performance of a sample of general practitioner (GP) trainers in the multiple choice paper (MCP) of the Membership Examination
of the Royal College of General Practitioners
(MRCGP) and to obtain their views of the content of the paper and its relevance to general practice using a written
knowledge test and self-administered questionnaire.
The participants were volunteer GP trainers in the Northern, Wessex, Kent, Education for Primary Care (2007) 18: 165–72 # 2007 Radcliffe Publishing Limited
WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN IN THIS AREA
. Feedback from GP registrar candidates sitting the multiple choice paper (MCP)
suggests that the paper has good face and content validity, although pressure of time
is a problem.
. Candidates find the questions in the paper challenging but most believe they assess
common or important problems in general practice.
WHAT THIS WORK ADDS
. Most trainers in this study believed that the paper assessed knowledge of common or
important topics relevant to general practice, that the majority of questions were
appropriate, clear and unambiguous and that time pressure was not a problem.
. Trainers in this study performed significantly better overall compared to registrars and
did so without making prior preparation.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
. Repeating the study with non-trainer GPs could provide further information on the
validity of the MCP as an applied knowledge test appropriate for established GPs
taking the MRCGP as well as those nearing completion of training
Keywords: attitudes, examination, general practice trainers, MRCGP,
Surrey and Sussex (KSS) and Northwest
deaneries of the UK. The trainers completed
a shortened version of an MRCGP
MCP paper under examination conditions
and provided feedback immediately afterwards.
Of 191 trainers invited to participate, 86
(45%) sat the paper and of these, 81 completed
the questionnaire. Most trainers
believed that the paper assessed knowledge
of common or important topics relevant to
general practice, that the majority of questions
were appropriate, clear and unambiguous
and that time pressure was not a problem.
Trainers performed significantly better
compared to registrars overall, and in
questions on medicine related to general
practice and practice administration but
not research methodology or critical
appraisal. They did so without making
prior preparation.
The findings from this group of trainers
lend support to the face validity and content
validity of the MRCGP MCP examination
as an assessment of applied knowledge
of general practice.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This study aimed to investigate the performance of a sample of general practitioner (GP) trainers in the multiple choice paper (MCP) of the Membership Examination of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) and to obtain their views of the content of the paper and its relevance to general practice using a written knowledge test and self-administered questionnaire. The participants were volunteer GP trainers in the Northern, Wessex, Kent, Education for Primary Care (2007) 18: 165–72 # 2007 Radcliffe Publishing Limited WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN IN THIS AREA . Feedback from GP registrar candidates sitting the multiple choice paper (MCP) suggests that the paper has good face and content validity, although pressure of time is a problem. . Candidates find the questions in the paper challenging but most believe they assess common or important problems in general practice. WHAT THIS WORK ADDS . Most trainers in this study believed that the paper assessed knowledge of common or important topics relevant to general practice, that the majority of questions were appropriate, clear and unambiguous and that time pressure was not a problem. . Trainers in this study performed significantly better overall compared to registrars and did so without making prior preparation. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH . Repeating the study with non-trainer GPs could provide further information on the validity of the MCP as an applied knowledge test appropriate for established GPs taking the MRCGP as well as those nearing completion of training Keywords: attitudes, examination, general practice trainers, MRCGP, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) and Northwest deaneries of the UK. The trainers completed a shortened version of an MRCGP MCP paper under examination conditions and provided feedback immediately afterwards. Of 191 trainers invited to participate, 86 (45%) sat the paper and of these, 81 completed the questionnaire. Most trainers believed that the paper assessed knowledge of common or important topics relevant to general practice, that the majority of questions were appropriate, clear and unambiguous and that time pressure was not a problem. Trainers performed significantly better compared to registrars overall, and in questions on medicine related to general practice and practice administration but not research methodology or critical appraisal. They did so without making prior preparation. The findings from this group of trainers lend support to the face validity and content validity of the MRCGP MCP examination as an assessment of applied knowledge of general practice.
Keywords:Health workers, General practitioners
Subjects:L Social studies > L510 Health & Welfare
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:740
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:03 May 2007
Last Modified:29 Nov 2013 13:18

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