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Sharing examination questions threatens trust in medical profession
Date:4/29/2013

Rochester, MN, April 29, 2013 Unethical behavior among physicians-in-training threatens to erode public trust and confidence in the medical profession, say two academic physicians in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Reacting to CNN reports last year about the widespread use of "recalls" and "airplane notes" by radiology and dermatology residents, Gregory W. Ruhnke, MD, MS, MPH, of the Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, and David J. Doukas, MD, of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, University of Louisville, call on leaders in medical education to establish guidelines and change the culture of medical school and training programs.

Illegal reproduction and transmission of board certification examination questions have received wide public attention recently. In 2010, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) suspended or revoked the certification of 139 physicians found to be disclosing or soliciting examination questions for a board review prep company in New Jersey; the company encouraged physicians to recall questions from memory and convey them to the course director for inclusion in course materials. In early 2012, CNN revealed that doctors training to become dermatologists and radiologists had for years shared exam questions by memorizing them and writing them down after their board certification examinations.

Ruhnke and Doukas say there is a crucial distinction between cheating and guided study, noting that historical test questions are routinely used throughout higher education. They cite the American College of Physicians' Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program, which includes a summary of high-yield information vetted by post-examination residents to choose material likely to appear on future examinations. Some physicians have defended the use of "recalls." Moreover, "the difference between the use of questions reproduced verbatim and a focused study guide based on examinee input li
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Contact: Rachael Zaleski
mcpmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3658
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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