Exam preparatory course for the 2nd part of the German medical examination in obstetrics and gynecology - a potential tool for the recruitment of new residents during the occupational decision process before the practical year?

BMC Med Educ. 2019 Jan 17;19(1):24. doi: 10.1186/s12909-019-1457-6.


Background: The "Second Stage of the Physician Exam" at the end of the 5th year of medical school in Germany is the final step before the "Practical Year." An exam preparatory class can cover the complete content of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) in two days. We raise the question of whether such training might promote students' interest in the given specialty during occupational decision making and whether it could even be used by hospitals as a recruitment tool. This investigation is even more important in the context of fierce competition among young professionals at clinics and in different specialties.

Methods: We conducted a multimodal course evaluation for four exam preparatory courses (each of which lasted two days and involved 8.5 h of teaching), including pre- and post-course tests with 20 multiple-choice questions to quantify the level of skill gain. Additionally, a standardized evaluation of course satisfaction was performed, followed by a post-exam questionnaire that dealt with studying activities and individual professional objectives.

Results: Overall, n = 197 students took part in four identical courses. Among them, n = 121 completed the pre-/post-course tests, n = 170 completed the evaluation, and n = 110 completed the post-exam questionnaire. An average improvement from 13.9 to 17.2 correct answers was observed (max. 20; pre-/post-difference 95%-CI: [2.77; 3.86], t-test: p < 0.0001). By trend, the students noted that course participation positively influenced their later choice of specialty training (m = 3.63; scale 1 = "strongly disagree," 5 = "strongly agree").

Conclusions: In addition to self-studying, condensed classroom training is effective and reasonable and might also increase the attractivity of OB/GYN among students and have a positive effect on recruitment.

Keywords: Exam preparation course; Obstetrics and gynecology; Occupational decision process; Recruitment.

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Germany
  • Gynecology / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Personnel Selection
  • Physicians* / psychology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Schools, Medical
  • Students, Medical* / psychology