Decreasing supply of family physicians and general practitioners. Serious implications for the future.
OBJECTIVE: To document a decrease in the supply of family physicians (FPs) and general practitioners among Canadian graduates of medical schools since rotating internships ceased to serve as a route to national licensure. DESIGN: Review of data from the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges, the Canadian Post-M.D. Education Registry, and the Canadian Institute for Health Information to track final training fields and eventual types of practice of graduates of Canadian faculties of medicine from 1987 to 1997. SETTING: Canadian faculties of medicine and residency training programs. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of Canadian medical graduates entering family medicine training programs from 1991 to 1998, number of Canadian graduate physicians exiting from these training programs, and proportion of each graduating class (1987 to 1994) practising as FPs or GPs in Canada in 1997. RESULTS: In 1993, 890 physicians (51% of graduates) were trained as FPs or GPs. By 1994, although the proportion remained at 40%, the number of Canadian graduates entering family medicine had dropped to 646, and by 1998, to 619. CONCLUSIONS: A deficit of FPs is already noticeable in the practice environment. For the way in which medical care is delivered in Canada, with FPs serving as first contact for patients, the authors conclude that the number of graduating FPs in Canada will not be sufficient to provide the primary care services Canadians need. (+info)
The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination, COMLEX-USA: a new paradigm in testing and evaluation.
Medical licensure in the United States demands a dynamic and current means to evaluate the competency of physicians seeking to practice medicine. A systematic measuring tool is required--one that is based on actual patient encounters and how physicians should apply their knowledge and skills to the clinical setting according to their level of training and professional development. Osteopathic physicians have a distinctive approach to healthcare, applying the biopsychosocial model with emphasis on the neuromusculoskeletal system. A component of this distinctive approach is a high level of knowledge and skill in the application of osteopathic manipulative treatment. Developed by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, COMPLEX-USA is the new sequential three-level examination process for osteopathic medical licensure in the United States. The examination process is interdisciplinary and highly clinical, with even basic science components tested within a clinical context. Examination content is based on wide expert consensus and data consistent with osteopathic medical education, training, and practice. Its design is a novel multidimensional structure that emphasizes clinical problem-solving skills and osteopathic principles and practice within the context of life cycle, gender, ethnicity, and points of service. Design schemata and blueprints are included along with descriptions of strategic research and development. COMPLEX-USA represents the most appropriate pathway for initial licensure for a distinctive and unique professional: the osteopathic physician in the United States. (+info)
Program for licensure for international medical graduates in British Columbia: 7 years' experience.
British Columbia has funded a program for licensure for international medical graduates since 1992, providing 2 entry positions per year for postgraduate training. Each year 25-35 candidates are eligible for the program, 13-16 enter the evaluation process, 4 go on to a clinical evaluation and 2 are offered funding by the Ministry of Health. Other candidates may access community funding if they meet the requirements of the program. Twenty of 26 candidates have successfully completed the postgraduate training and achieved full licensure; 6 are still in training. In this article we describe the development of the program, the evaluation and selection process, characteristics of the candidates and the outcomes of the program. (+info)
Relationship between academic achievement and COMLEX-USA Level 1 performance: a multisite study.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of performance on the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) Level 1 with academic performance at colleges accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Eighteen (95%) of 19 AOA-accredited colleges and 2146 students (91% of those taking the June 1999 examination) met criteria and participated. Students were classified by school representatives on the basis of academic performance in the first 2 years of the curriculum. The relationships of Level 1 performance with assigned classifications and grade point averages (GPAs) were studied. Of students classified in the highest 20% academically, the Level 1 pass rate was 100%, with a mean score of 599. Of students classified in the lowest 5%, the pass rate was 63.5%, with a mean of 416.3. For 16 schools that provided GPAs, the within-school correlations between Level 1 scores and GPAs ranged from r = 0.76 to r = 0.85, with a mean correlation of r = 0.79. School representatives were also asked to indicate, for each student, whether they expected the student to pass the examination. Pass rate for students in the "sure pass" category was 98.9%; "borderline," 82.5%; and "concerns," 61.5%. Academic performance in the first 2 years of osteopathic medical school was strongly associated with performance on COMPLEX-USA Level 1. The national pass rate for this examination was similar to those in previous years, and it remains unclear why school representatives overpredicted the number of failures. Further research is needed. (+info)
Variables that may enhance medical students' perceived preparedness for computer-based testing.
OBJECTIVE: To identify variables that may enhance medical student's preparedness for computer-based administration of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey of 301 medical students who completed a self-administered questionnaire. MEASUREMENTS: The questionnaire was designed to obtain information about students' computer resources, personal experience with computers, computer expertise, opinions about computers, experience with computer-based testing, perceived preparedness for the computer-based USMLE, and demographic variables. Variables related to students' perceived preparedness for the computer-based USMLE were identified by ordinal logistic regression. RESULTS: A significant regression model yielded four significant predictors: perceived preparedness for USMLE content (P: < 0.0001), opinions about computers (P: < 0.0012), gender (P: < 0.0001), and a gender by computer-based testing experience interaction (P: < 0. 0004). Computer resources, personal experience with computers, computer expertise, age, race, and year of medical school were not significant predictors. CONCLUSION: Students' perceived preparedness for computer-based administration of high-stakes examinations may be facilitated by preparing them for examination content, by enhancing their opinions about computers, and by increasing their computer-based testing experiences. (+info)
Testing osteopathic medical school graduates for licensure: is COMLEX-USA the most appropriate examination?
Osteopathic and allopathic physicians receive authority to practice medicine through the licensing boards of the states in which they practice. Each state has the responsibility to operate a licensing board for physicians and other medical professionals. These boards choose which examinations are acceptable to establish that a physician is licensable to practice medicine. The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) administers the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). To determine the views of the educational leaders of the osteopathic profession regarding licensure testing, a survey was mailed to leaders in the profession. Of the 799 surveys mailed, 341 (43%) were returned. Respondents were asked 19 questions, using a Likert scale to record responses (strongly disagree, 1; strongly agree, 5). Eighty-eight percent of respondents believed that osteopathic medicine is a distinct profession. Seventy percent of respondents felt that COMLEX-USA is the standard for testing osteopathic trainees, while 70% believed trainees should continue to be tested by a unique process. According to 72% of the respondents, the NBOME, through its testing procedures, continues to be the organization best suited to test the knowledge of osteopathic students and graduates. These results indicate that among the practicing leadership of the osteopathic profession, overwhelming support exists for the profession to retain the ability and the right to examine its own trainees from within. (+info)
Prediction of student performance on the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination Level I based on admission data and course performance.
To predict student performance on the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) Level 1 examination based on academic performance during the first 2 years, stepwise regression analysis of COMLEX-USA Level 1 performance with preadmission grade point averages, Medical College Admission Test scores, and academic performance was performed on the class of 2000 to develop three formulae that were then used to predict performance on COMLEX-USA Level 1 for the class of 2001. Models ranged in accuracy of predicting the pass/fail status from 95.2% (all available data) to 96.8% (first-year grades and admissions data). A predictive model for student performance on COMLEX-USA Level 1 can be developed and has a high degree of accuracy. The model with the most variables available to choose from predicts the most failures. (+info)
Correlation of scores for the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination with osteopathic medical school grades.
The authors evaluated construct validity of scores for the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA), the examination used to evaluate osteopathic physicians for licensure. They computed correlations between students' grades in the first 2 years of osteopathic medical school and their scores on the COMPLEX-USA Level 1 (N = 187) and Level 2 (N = 86), as well as correlations between third- and fourth-year clerkship grades and the COMLEX-USA Level 2. Correlations of Level 1 scores with grades for years one, two, and the first 2 years combined were .74, .80, and .81, respectively; for Level 2, correlations were .59, .70, and .71. Correlation between clerkship grades and scores for the COMLEX-USA Level 2 was .26. The strong correlation between COMLEX-USA results and grades for the didactic curriculum in the first 2 years of medical school provides evidence for the construct validity of scores for the COMLEX-USA Levels 1 and 2. (+info)