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Comparing performance among male and female candidates in sex-specific clinical knowledge in the MRCGP

Siriwardena, A Niroshan, Irish, Bill, Dixon, Hilton, Milne, Paul, Neden, Catherine A., Richardson, Jo, Blow, Carol (2012) Comparing performance among male and female candidates in sex-specific clinical knowledge in the MRCGP. British Journal of General Practice, 62 (599). pp. 446-450. ISSN 0960-1643. E-ISSN 1478-5242. (doi:10.3399/bjgp12X649142) (KAR id:92008)

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Official URL:
https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp12X649142

Abstract

Background Patients often seek doctors of the same sex, particularly for sex-specific complaints and also because of a perception that doctors have greater knowledge of complaints relating to their own sex. Few studies have investigated differences in knowledge by sex of candidate on sex-specific questions in medical examinations.

Aim The aim was to compare the performance of males and females in sex-specific questions in a 200-item computer-based applied knowledge test for licensing UK GPs.

Design and setting A cross-sectional design using routinely collected performance and demographic data from the first three versions of the Applied Knowledge Test, MRCGP, UK.

Method Questions were classified as female specific, male specific, or sex neutral. The performance of males and females was analysed using multiple analysis of covariance after adjusting for sex-neutral score and demographic confounders.

Results Data were included from 3627 candidates. After adjusting for sex-neutral score, age, time since qualification, year of speciality training, ethnicity, and country of primary medical qualification, there were differences in performance in sex-specific questions. Males performed worse than females on female-specific questions (–4.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = –5.7 to –2.6) but did not perform significantly better than females on male-specific questions (0.3%, 95% CI = –2.6 to 3.2%.

Conclusion There was evidence of better performance by females in female-specific questions but this was small relative to the size of the test. Differential performance of males and females in sex-specific questions in a licensing examination may have implications for vocational and post-qualification general practice training.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3399/bjgp12X649142
Uncontrolled keywords: assessment, general practice, learning, medical education, primary health care, sex
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R729 Types of medical practice > R729.5.G4 General practice
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Kent and Medway Medical School
Depositing User: Catherine Neden
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2021 16:54 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2021 11:44 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/92008 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Siriwardena, A Niroshan: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2484-8201
Neden, Catherine A.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6293-2960
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