Background Identifying predictors of success in postgraduate examinations can help guide the career choices of medical students and may aid early identification of trainees requiring extra support to progress in specialty training. We assessed whether performance on the educational performance measurement (EPM) and situational judgement test (SJT) used for selection into foundation training predicted success at the Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) examination. Methods This was a longitudinal, cohort study using data from the UK Medical Education Database (https://www.ukmed.ac.uk). UK medical graduates who had attempted Part A (n=2585) and Part B (n=755) of the MRCS between 2014 and 2017 were included. χ 2 and independent t-tests were used to examine the relationship between medical school performance and sociodemographic factors with first-attempt success at MRCS Part A and B. Multivariate logistic regression was employed to identify independent predictors of MRCS performance. Results The odds of passing MRCS increased by 55% for Part A (OR 1.55 (95% CI 1.48 to 1.61)) and 23% for Part B (1.23 (1.14 to 1.32)) for every additional EPM decile point gained. For every point awarded for additional degrees in the EPM, candidates were 20% more likely to pass MRCS Part A (1.20 (1.13 to 1.29)) and 17% more likely to pass Part B (1.17 (1.04 to 1.33)). For every point awarded for publications in the EPM, candidates were 14% more likely to pass MRCS Part A (1.14 (1.01 to 1.28)). SJT score was not a statistically significant independent predictor of MRCS success. Conclusion This study has demonstrated the EPM's independent predictive power and found that medical school performance deciles are the most significant measure of predicting later success in the MRCS. These findings can be used by medical schools, training boards and workforce planners to inform evidence-based and contemporary selection and assessment strategies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (award/grant number is not applicable).
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to acknowledge Iain Targett at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, for his help with data collection and Gregory Ayre from the Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations for their support during this project. Our thanks to members of the UKMED Research Group who provided useful feedback on an earlier version of this manuscript, and whose comments helped refine the paper. The authors would also like to acknowledge Daniel Smith for his help with the UKMED database. Data Source: UK Medical Education Database (‘UKMED’). UKMEDP043 extract generated on 25 July 2018. We are grateful to UKMED for the use of these data. However, UKMED bears no responsibility for their analysis or interpretation. The data include information derived from that collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited (‘HESA’) and provided to the GMC (‘HESA Data’). Source: HESA Student Records 2007/2008 to 2015/2016. Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency. The Higher Education Statistics Agency makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the HESA Data, cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from data or other information supplied by it.
- adult surgery
- medical education & training