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The need for national medical licensing examination in Saudi Arabia

Bajammal S, Zaini R, Abuznadah W, Al-Rukban M, Aly SM, Boker A, Al-Zalabani A, Al-Omran M, Al-Habib A, Al-Sheikh M, Al-Sultan M, Fida N, Alzahrani K, Hamad B, Al Shehri M, Abdulrahman KB, Al-Damegh S, Al-Nozha MM, Donnon T - BMC Med Educ (2008)

Bottom Line: We are arguing for the need for a Saudi national medical licensing examination that consists of two parts: Part I (Written) which tests the basic science and clinical knowledge and Part II (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) which tests the clinical skills and attitudes.We propose this examination to be mandated as a licensure requirement for practicing medicine in Saudi Arabia.The driving and hindering forces as well as the strengths and weaknesses of implementing the licensing examination are discussed in details in this debate.

Affiliation: Medical Education Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. sohail@bajammal.com

ABSTRACT

Background: Medical education in Saudi Arabia is facing multiple challenges, including the rapid increase in the number of medical schools over a short period of time, the influx of foreign medical graduates to work in Saudi Arabia, the award of scholarships to hundreds of students to study medicine in various countries, and the absence of published national guidelines for minimal acceptable competencies of a medical graduate.

Discussion: We are arguing for the need for a Saudi national medical licensing examination that consists of two parts: Part I (Written) which tests the basic science and clinical knowledge and Part II (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) which tests the clinical skills and attitudes. We propose this examination to be mandated as a licensure requirement for practicing medicine in Saudi Arabia.

Conclusion: The driving and hindering forces as well as the strengths and weaknesses of implementing the licensing examination are discussed in details in this debate.

Miller's Framework of Clinical Assessment (© Miller GE: The assessment of clinical skills/competence/performance. Acad Med 1990, 65: S63–S67. Figure 1 [25]. Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.): with the corresponding appropriate methods of assessment.
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Figure 2: Miller's Framework of Clinical Assessment (© Miller GE: The assessment of clinical skills/competence/performance. Acad Med 1990, 65: S63–S67. Figure 1 [25]. Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.): with the corresponding appropriate methods of assessment.

Mentions: The second step in the preparation of a high-stakes examination is the selection of test formats best suited to the educational objectives to be assessed. Initially, it is important to acknowledge that there is no one single test format that is able to assess all aspects of clinical competence [24]. From one perspective, it is important to decide on the level of assessment we intend to evaluate when assessing the clinical competencies as presented in the framework proposed by George Miller [25] (Figure 2). In particular, we need to decide on the knowledge, competencies, performances or actions of the medical students we are interested in measuring. Deciding on Miller's levels of assessment will help guide the choice of test format. Amin and colleagues described different methods of assessment, along with their strengths, weaknesses and the available evidence to support or refute its use [26]. Figure 2 summarizes the appropriate methods for each level of assessment according to Miller's framework.

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The need for national medical licensing examination in Saudi Arabia

Bajammal S, Zaini R, Abuznadah W, Al-Rukban M, Aly SM, Boker A, Al-Zalabani A, Al-Omran M, Al-Habib A, Al-Sheikh M, Al-Sultan M, Fida N, Alzahrani K, Hamad B, Al Shehri M, Abdulrahman KB, Al-Damegh S, Al-Nozha MM, Donnon T - BMC Med Educ (2008)

Miller's Framework of Clinical Assessment (© Miller GE: The assessment of clinical skills/competence/performance. Acad Med 1990, 65: S63–S67. Figure 1 [25]. Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.): with the corresponding appropriate methods of assessment.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Figure 2: Miller's Framework of Clinical Assessment (© Miller GE: The assessment of clinical skills/competence/performance. Acad Med 1990, 65: S63–S67. Figure 1 [25]. Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.): with the corresponding appropriate methods of assessment.
Mentions: The second step in the preparation of a high-stakes examination is the selection of test formats best suited to the educational objectives to be assessed. Initially, it is important to acknowledge that there is no one single test format that is able to assess all aspects of clinical competence [24]. From one perspective, it is important to decide on the level of assessment we intend to evaluate when assessing the clinical competencies as presented in the framework proposed by George Miller [25] (Figure 2). In particular, we need to decide on the knowledge, competencies, performances or actions of the medical students we are interested in measuring. Deciding on Miller's levels of assessment will help guide the choice of test format. Amin and colleagues described different methods of assessment, along with their strengths, weaknesses and the available evidence to support or refute its use [26]. Figure 2 summarizes the appropriate methods for each level of assessment according to Miller's framework.

Bottom Line: We are arguing for the need for a Saudi national medical licensing examination that consists of two parts: Part I (Written) which tests the basic science and clinical knowledge and Part II (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) which tests the clinical skills and attitudes.We propose this examination to be mandated as a licensure requirement for practicing medicine in Saudi Arabia.The driving and hindering forces as well as the strengths and weaknesses of implementing the licensing examination are discussed in details in this debate.

Affiliation: Medical Education Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. sohail@bajammal.com

ABSTRACT

Background: Medical education in Saudi Arabia is facing multiple challenges, including the rapid increase in the number of medical schools over a short period of time, the influx of foreign medical graduates to work in Saudi Arabia, the award of scholarships to hundreds of students to study medicine in various countries, and the absence of published national guidelines for minimal acceptable competencies of a medical graduate.

Discussion: We are arguing for the need for a Saudi national medical licensing examination that consists of two parts: Part I (Written) which tests the basic science and clinical knowledge and Part II (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) which tests the clinical skills and attitudes. We propose this examination to be mandated as a licensure requirement for practicing medicine in Saudi Arabia.

Conclusion: The driving and hindering forces as well as the strengths and weaknesses of implementing the licensing examination are discussed in details in this debate.

View Similar Images In: Results  - Collection
View Article: PubMed Central - HTML -  PubMed
Show All Figures - Show MeSH
getmorefigures.php?pmc=2631006&rFormat=json&query=null&req=5