Determinants of outcome of final undergraduate surgery examinations in a Nigerian University
Background: Medical students’ assessment is an important aspect of medical undergraduate training that requires periodic review to achieve objectivity and improve training. We reviewed the outcome and factors that influenced outcome of undergraduate students’ final surgery examination.
Materials and Methods: Final examination records of undergraduate medical students in surgery from a single institution for 5 years (2013–2017) were retrospectively reviewed. Scores of the students in continuous assessments (CA), multiple‑choice questions (MCQs), essays, long case, short cases, orals, and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE) were extracted as appropriate. The data were analyzed using SPSS® for Windows version 21.
Results: A total of 960 candidates’ results were analyzed over 5 successive years, 722 candidates (75.2%) were males, and 238 (24.8%) were females. The overall pass rate was 62.6%. Success rate in the clinical examinations was higher in females (84.5%) compared to males (72.7%). X2 = 13.381, P < 0.001. MCQs section of the examinations had the highest failure rate (49.5%). Female gender (P < 0.001), passing CA (P < 0.001), and shorter duration‑<9 years in medical school (P < 0.001) were strongly associated with passing the final surgery examination. Pass rate was 73.1% for females and 56.2% for males during the OSCE period.
Conclusion: CA is the single most important determinant of success in final surgery examination, while MCQs constitutes the most difficult aspect of the examinations. Irrespective of method of assessment, females seem to do better than males.
Keywords: Final examinations, outcome, undergraduate surgery