Views And Reviews

The Certification and Recertification of Doctors: Issues in the Assessment of Clinical Competence

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6961.1096 (Published 22 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1096
  1. D Newble,
  2. B Jolly,
  3. R Wakeford

    Ed David Newble, Brian Jolly, Richard Wakeford Cambridge University Press, £37.50, pp 249 ISBN 0-521-43187-5

    It is a truth (almost) universally acknowledged that assessment of both postgraduate and undergraduate medical students should be valid, reliable, and fair, but unfortunately it is rarely any of these and never all. Why? Valid means that it tests what we want it to test and tests what it says it will. Thus assessments must relate to real problems, because we need to be certain that our assessments relate to real medicine in order to have any chance of inferring that students' competence in the assessments is relevant to their performance “in real life.”

    Reliable means we can be sure of getting the same result next time. Assessments need to be reliable so that when we pass …

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