Objective: To determine what value a senior departmental comprehensive examination holds in predicting the future success of a student on the MT(ASCP) certification examination.
Design: Part 1: To evaluate the efficacy of the comprehensive examination, scores were obtained in the examination categories of hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, and microbiology for all dinical laboratory science students who have graduated from the University of Mississippi Medical Center since 1993. The data were analyzed to determine if a correlation exists between student performance on the senior comprehensive, and their future performance on the MT(ASCP) national certification examination. Part 2: To determine the extent to which a senior comprehensive examination was required for graduation at other university-based clinical laboratory science programs, a simple survey was e-mailed to members of the clinical laboratory science educators forum.
Setting: 2+2 university-based dinical laboratory science program
Participants: Part 1: Previous graduates of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center since 1993. Part 2: Program directors who are members of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Educator's Forum.
Results: Part 1: Results indicated a distinct division between participants who scored higher than 74.36% (Group A) on the senior comprehensive examination, and those scoring below 74.36% (Group B). In Group A, 100% of participants passed the MT(ASCP) national certification examination on the first attempt. Results were mixed for Group B. Part 2: The survey indicated that of the 40 respondents, most were similar to the University of Mississippi Medical Center Clinical Laboratory Science Program in that they require a comprehensive to be taken, that the grade received is part of another course grade, and that the examination is prepared using questions submitted by the faculty.
Conclusions: Part 1: The senior departmental comprehensive examination is of value in predicting the future success of a student on the MT(ASCP) national certification examination. Part 2: Unlike the University of Mississippi Medical Center, 16 of the 40 respondents stated that passage of the comprehensive examination was a requirement for graduation. In those programs, the comprehensive was a major part of a course grade.