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Med Educ Online. 2016 Jan;21(1):30919. doi: 10.3402/meo.v21.30919.

Family-centered rounds and medical student performance on the NBME pediatrics subject (shelf) examination: a retrospective cohort study.

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a Department of Pediatrics, Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond , VA , USA.
b CORE Research Office Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University , Dublin , OH , USA.


Objective To determine the association between family-centered rounds (FCR) and medical student knowledge acquisition as assessed by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) pediatric subject (shelf) exam. Methods A retrospective cohort study was conducted of third-year medical students who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine between 2009 and 2014. This timeframe represented the transition from 'traditional' rounds to FCR on the pediatric inpatient unit. Data collected included demographics, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and 2 scores, and NBME subject examinations in pediatrics (PSE), medicine (MSE), and surgery (SSE). Results Eight hundred and sixteen participants were included in the analysis. Student performance on the PSE could not be statistically differentiated from performance on the MSE for any year except 2011 (z-score=-0.17, p=0.02). Average scores on PSE for years 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014 were significantly higher than for SSE, but not significantly different for all other years. The PSE was highly correlated with USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 examinations (correlation range 0.56-0.77) for all years. Conclusions Our results showed no difference in PSE performance during a time in which our institution transitioned to FCR. These findings should be reassuring for students, attending physicians, and medical educators.


NBME subject examination; family-centered rounds; undergraduate medical education

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