Evaluation of a course to prepare international students for the United States Medical Licensing Examination step 2 clinical skills exam

J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2017 Oct 24;14:25. doi: 10.3352/jeehp.2017.14.25. eCollection 2017.

Abstract

Purpose: United States (US) and Canadian citizens attending medical school abroad often desire to return to the US for residency, and therefore must pass US licensing exams. We describe a 2-day United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) step 2 clinical skills (CS) preparation course for students in the Technion American Medical School program (Haifa, Israel) between 2012 and 2016.

Methods: Students completed pre- and post-course questionnaires. The paired t-test was used to measure students' perceptions of knowledge, preparation, confidence, and competence in CS pre- and post-course. To test for differences by gender or country of birth, analysis of variance was used. We compared USMLE step 2 CS pass rates between the 5 years prior to the course and the 5 years during which the course was offered.

Results: Ninety students took the course between 2012 and 2016. Course evaluations began in 2013. Seventy-three students agreed to participate in the evaluation, and 64 completed the pre- and post-course surveys. Of the 64 students, 58% were US-born and 53% were male. Students reported statistically significant improvements in confidence and competence in all areas. No differences were found by gender or country of origin. The average pass rate for the 5 years prior to the course was 82%, and the average pass rate for the 5 years of the course was 89%.

Conclusion: A CS course delivered at an international medical school may help to close the gap between the pass rates of US and international medical graduates on a high-stakes licensing exam. More experience is needed to determine if this model is replicable.

Keywords: Clinical competence; Curriculum; Educational measurement; Foreign medical graduates.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Educational Measurement / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Licensure, Medical*
  • Male
  • Students, Medical*
  • United States
  • Young Adult