Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Acad Med. 2018 Jul 17. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002366. [Epub ahead of print]

Examining Demographics, Prior Academic Performance, and United States Medical Licensing Examination Scores.

Author information

1
J.D. Rubright is senior psychometrician, National Board of Medical Examiners, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. M. Jodoin is vice president of Psychometrics and Data Analysis, National Board of Medical Examiners, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. M.A. Barone is vice president of Licensure, National Board of Medical Examiners, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine whether demographic differences exist in United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) examination scores and the extent to which any differences are explained by students' prior academic achievement.

METHOD:

Hierarchical linear modeling of data for U.S. and Canadian allopathic and osteopathic medical graduates testing on USMLE Step 1 during or after 2010, and completing USMLE Step 3 by 2015. Main outcome measures were computer-based USMLE examinations: Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, and Step 3. Test-taker characteristics included sex, self-identified race, U.S. citizenship status, English as a second language, and age at first Step 1 attempt. Covariates included composite Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, undergraduate grade point average (GPA), and previous USMLE scores.

RESULTS:

A total of 45,154 examinees from 172 medical schools met criteria. The sample was 67% white and 48% female; 3.7% non-U.S. citizens; and 7.4% with English as a second language. Hierarchical linear models examined demographic variables with and without covariates including MCAT scores and GPA. All Step examinations showed significant differences by gender after adding covariates, varying by Step. Racial differences were observed for each Step, attenuated by the addition of covariates.

CONCLUSIONS:

Demographic differences in USMLE performance were tempered by previous examination performance and undergraduate performance. Additional research is required to identify factors that contribute to demographic differences, can aid educators' identification of students who would benefit from assistance preparing for USMLE, and can assist residency program directors in assessing performance measures while meeting diversity goals.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center