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Ugeskr Laeger. 2003 Jan 13;165(3):229-32.

[Junior physicians' acquisition of theoretical knowledge at a surgical department. Evaluation in the form of multiple-choice tests].

[Article in Danish]

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Klinisk biokemisk afdeling KB 3011, H:S Rigshospitalet, DK-2100 København ø.



Denmark has no tradition of formal assessment of junior doctors' theoretical knowledge. We therefore wanted to investigate whether the knowledge of surgical junior doctors has actually increased.


Twenty-three junior doctors were confronted with the same multiple-choice questionnaires twice during a six months period. Subsequently, they were asked whether they would approve the implementation of multiple-choice questionnaires and formal assessment (exam) in the Danish specialist training in surgery.


The participants got a significantly higher score the second time they were confronted with the multiple-choice questionnaires (p = 0.0003). When dividing the participants into two groups, viz. young vs. old junior doctors, it was observed that the latter group had a higher score overall but augmented their scores less in relation to their young colleagues (p = 0.038). Forty percent of the participants replied that the multiple-choice questionnaires had motivated them to do further theoretical studies, and half of them approved the introduction of an exam in surgery in the Danish specialist training.


The theoretical knowledge of junior doctors does actually increase in a relatively short period of time during their employment at a department of surgery. As expected the old junior doctors got a higher score compared to their young colleagues. However, the latter group augments its knowledge relatively more. Multiple-choice questionnaires are easy, accessible, and inexpensive tools for evaluation as well as stimulation for doing further theroretical studies.

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