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Scand J Prim Health Care. 2007 Dec;25(4):198-201.

Examination of final-year medical students in general practice.

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ISM, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.


With general practice recognized as one of three major subjects in the Tromsø medical school curriculum, a matching examination counterpart was needed. The aim was to develop and implement an examination in an authentic general practice setting for final-year medical students. In a general practice surgery, observed by two examiners and one fellow student, the student performs a consultation with a consenting patient who would otherwise have consulted his/her general practitioner (GP). An oral examination follows. It deals with the consultation process, the observed communication between "doctor" and patient, and with clinical problem-solving, taking today's patient as a starting point. The session is closed by discussion of a public-health-related question. Since 2004 the model has been evaluated through questionnaires to students, examiners, and patients, and through a series of review meetings among examiners and students. Examination in general practice using unselected, consenting patients mimics real life to a high degree. It constitutes one important element in a comprehensive assessment process. This is considered to be an acceptable and appropriate way of testing the students before graduation.

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