Multiple choice questions for continuing education in family medicine.
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Multiple choice questions used in continuing medical education may require characteristics different from those used in tests and examinations. The questions of three continuing education exercise were assessed by 48 board certified family physicians. Each physician answered one third of the questions and then judged them on usefulness in patient management, as discriminators of quality of medical care, and on educational value. The relevance of each question was determined by a composite index based on these factors. The content of each question was independently analyzed by three physicians. Relevant questions tended to be those concerned with surgery, symptoms, and management, and those requiring more than simple factual recall. Questions on office management or concerning specific diagnoses were considered less relevant. Neither the manner of asking the question nor the severity of the illness appeared to influence relevance. This information should benefit those developing continuing education programs for family physicians, especially those designed for self-administered individual learning.
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