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Removing the Shelf Cutoff to Achieve Honors in the Clerkship Does Not Change Test Scores

Purpose: Purpose: To identify students’ performance on the NBME subject examination changes when a minimum score requirement for Honors is removed.

Background: Background: The NBME subject examination is used in many obstetrics and gynecology clerkships as an objective measure of knowledge. The exam score may be included in the calculation of a student’s final grade, with a requirement to achieve a certain minimum score to be eligible for a grade of Honors. At our institution, this cutoff was removed from the obstetrics and gynecology clerkship in 2017.

Methods: Methods: Scores for the Obstetrics and Gynecology subject examination at the University of Pennsylvania were compared between 2016 (the most recent year in which a cutoff was used) and 2017 (the first year in which the cutoff was removed). Comparative statistical analyses were performed, including mean, standard deviation, and Student’s T-test.

Results: Results: In 2016, 161 students took the NBME subject examination, during which time a minimum score of 81 was required to be eligible for a final grade of Honors. The mean score was 80.58 (range 61-93, standard deviation 6.34). In 2017, the minimum cutoff requirement was removed, and 163 students took the exam. The mean score was 80.42 (range 53-94, standard deviation 6.38). The T-test result for comparison between the two means was 0.41.

Discussions: Discussion: At this academic institution, the mean NBME subject examination score did not change between the two years. Students continue to study for the final exam when the minimum cutoff is removed.

Topics: Independent Study, Assessment, UME, Medical Knowledge, Clerkship Director, Faculty, 2019, CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting,

General Information


Intended
Audience
Faculty,Clerkship Director,
Competencies
Addressed
Medical Knowledge,
Educational
Continuum
UME,
Educational
Focus
Assessment,Independent Study,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Holly Cummings, MD, MPH, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; DaCarla Albright, MD

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