Predicting performance on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada internal medicine written examination.
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BACKGROUND: Although the written component of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)internal medicine examination is important for obtaining licensure and certification as a specialist, no methods exist to predict a candidate's performance on the examination. METHOD: We obtained data from 5 Canadian universities from 1988 to 1998 in order to compare raw scores from the American Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (AIMI-TE) with raw scores and outcomes (pass or fail) of the written component of the RCPSC internal medicine examination. RESULTS: Mean scores on the AIMI-TE correlated well with scores on the RCPSC internal medicine written examination for all postgraduate years (r = 0.62, r = 0.55 and r = 0.65 for postgraduate years 1, 2 and 3 respectively). Scores above the 50th percentile on the AIMI-TE w/ere predictive of a low failure rate (< 1.5%) on the RCPSC internal medicine written examination, whereas scores at or below the 10th percentile were associated with a high failure rate (about 24%). INTERPRETATION: Candidates who are eligible to take the written component of the RCPSC certification examination in internal medicine can use the AIMI-TE to predict their performance on the Canadian examination. The AIMI-TE is a useful test for residents in all levels of training, because the examination scores have a strong relation to expected performance on the Canadian examination for each year of postgraduate training.
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