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Investigación en educación médica

versión On-line ISSN 2007-5057


FORTOUL-VAN DER GOES, Teresa Imelda et al. A five-generation assessment of basic science knowledge retention at the end of the second year of medical school, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (2007-2011). Investigación educ. médica [online]. 2012, vol.1, n.4, pp.170-175. ISSN 2007-5057.

Introduction: It is not unusual during the clinical clerkship to hear complaints about the inadequate scientific knowledge that undergraduates retain from their basic science years, and there are reports supporting the relevance of this knowledge in the future understanding of clinical diagnoses and management. Objective: To assess the retention of basic science knowledge after the first two-years of medical school studies, previous to clinical clerkships; a five-year longitudinal retrospective study was implemented. Method: A 120-item Multiple Choice Question test to assess the basic knowledge retention was structured by the academic departments in charge of each course. The same assessment was applied each year at the same time, after the end of the first two years of medical school and before their clinical clerkship rotations. Results: More than 75% of students from each class took the exam: 894 (80.7%) in 2007; 752 (86.9%) in 2008; 820 (77.2%) in 2009; 890 (79.8%) in 2010 and 925 (84.4%) in 2011. Cronbach' α was above 0.7 in each test application. Besides the 2011 class which had a lower mean score, the average for each year remained similar. The lowest scores were for Medical Psychology and Pharmacology, followed by Physiology, Developmental Biology and Cell and Tissue Biology. Public Health I and II and Surgery had the highest scores. When groups are ordered by scores' average, only the two High Achievement Program Groups (PAEA) had a score equal or higher than 6. Conclusion: Our findings are in agreement with those reported in the literature. The gap of basic and clinical knowledge seems to be a common problem in undergraduates. New strategies should be explored for students to integrate basic sciences with clinical work, resulting in an improved understanding of the scientific foundation of medical practice.

Palabras llave : Basic sciences; basic knowledge; undergraduate medical education; knowledge decay; formative assessment.

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