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Educación Médica

versión impresa ISSN 1575-1813


RETA DE ROSAS, Ana María et al. Medical competences and their assessment at the end of the undergraduate medical program at the National University of Cuyo (Argentina). Educ. méd. [online]. 2006, vol.9, n.2, pp.75-83. ISSN 1575-1813.

In order to graduate, medical students at the National University of Cuyo have to pass a mandatory global clinical exam. This research project was designed to analyze what that exam should assess as well as the instruments to be used. The project employed the paradigm of Outcome-Based Education, which establishes that the curriculum must adjust the learning process and the assessment tools to the expected outcomes. An interview, conducted with physicians, patients, nurses, employers, faculty members and students (n=147) defined six competences with a total of fifty-one components. The six competences were: Clinical skills; Medical knowledge; Communication skills; Personal and professional update and development; Ethical and legal aspects of the profession; and Social context and health system. A survey was drafted to select the essential components of the six competences. This survey was applied to fifty faculty members. The significance of the differences was studied. As a result the competence components were reordered and reduced to twenty-seven. A second survey, based on the Delphi technique, was submitted to another group of faculty members (n=40), in order to select the most appropriate assessment instrument for each component and to determine the most adequate timetable for such assessments during the course of the medical program. Twenty-four of the twenty-seven components were to be evaluated during the clinical years (sixteen of them to be assessed after the internship, at the end of the medical program) and three were to be appraised during the first year. Observation of the students' performance with patients, continuous evaluation with feedback, and oral and written exams were the instruments deemed most appropriate by the faculty. In conclusion, this project served to define the most appropriate competences and their components for a professional medical practice, as well as determining the assessment instruments and the timetable for their application. It also obtained faculty support and established the framework of a global system for student assessment across the curriculum.

Palabras clave : Medical Education.

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