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Reporting content scores on a medical certification examination.


Song H. — National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners

Hess BJ. — American Board of Internal Medicine

Presented: American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, April 2013

Abstract: The utility of an assessment considers not only the traditional criteria of reliability and validity, but also the educational impact, acceptability to the stakeholders and cost effectiveness. This study evaluated content domain scores for a medical certification examination by applying a higher order item response theory model that simultaneously estimates physicians’ cognitive skills in the general medical specialty and its subspecialties. Results showed that while the overall exam score is used for making pass/fail decisions, the more reliable content domain scores can provide a profile of individual and institutional performance, and can be especially helpful to failing candidates in need of remediation. The validity of these content domain scores was supported by their associations with the physicians' clinical performance.

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