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G648(P) Devising child health examination questions for medical students: a collaborative approach
  1. HC Jacob1,
  2. CR Fertleman2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, North Middlesex University Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, Whittington Hospital, London, UK


Aims The Medical Schools Council Assessment Alliance (MSCAA) maintains a bank of single best answer examination questions at the level of final year medical students. A selection of these questions is included in the written final examination of all UK medical schools, providing data about each school’s standard setting. The question bank contained very few child health questions, despite most UK medical graduates undertaking a foundation job involving children and young people. This study aimed to populate the MSCAA question bank with more child health questions.

Methods Paediatric consultants and doctors in training were invited to a question writing event. The event was advertised through social media, word-of-mouth and email invitation to a range of paediatric doctors interested in medical education.

All delegates prepared six single best answer questions in the MSCAA style, written in the present tense, with short stems and no double negatives. The questions had to address child health presentations not already well represented in the bank, for example limp and headache. Questions had to be submitted two weeks before the event.

Delegates then attended a one day event working in groups to review and edit submitted questions before sending them for approval to the MSCAA’s Final Clinical Review Group. We included delegates in the group reviewing their questions, meaning individuals could receive feedback on their question writing. Throughout the day, delegates also took part in activities including silk painting and singing.

Results Twenty two paediatric doctors attended the day. A total of 77 questions were submitted for approval by the Final Clinical Review Group, covering 27 different child health presentations. Of these, 52 (68%) have already been approved. Another 13 (17%) are awaiting review and 12 (16%) were not approved.

Conclusions The model of delegates attending to review pre-submitted questions is effective at generating high quality single best answer child health questions. Delegates received feedback on their questions, providing faculty development for paediatric medical educators. Using non-medical sessions at the event helped delegates to maintain focus and promoted team bonding. We are planning another event to generate more questions addressing under-represented clinical presentations in the bank.

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