A prospective study of the long-term validity of student assessment of paediatric teaching began during the period 1968--70. The students gave scores to the different parts of the course in a standard questionnaire. Between 6 and 8 years later the same students were given the same questionnaire to complete. 76 of the original 92 students responded. By this time most of them were either principals in general practice, or senior registrars or consultants in hospital medicine. The 18 items in the paediatric course were given remarkably similar scores in the two questionnaires, and the popularity ratings of only 2 items had altered significantly during the 7-year interval. The doctor 6--8 years after the course seems more likely to appreciate the need for teaching about communication skills.
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