Comparability of Clerkship Sites in a Community-Based Medical School: Evaluation of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Measures

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Studies have generally found clinical training sites within the same clerkship to be comparable regarding students' performances--by using undergraduate measures in individual clerkships at medical schools with university hospitals. The present study examined performance comparability among sites within two clerkships in a community-based medical school and used both undergraduate and postgraduate measures.


The participants were the 349 graduates from the classes of 1988-1991 at Wright State University School of Medicine who took an internal medicine clerkship (332 of the graduates, in five principal combinations of sites) and a general surgery clerkship (349 at six sites). The undergraduate measures were final percent scores for the clerkships and subtest and total scores on the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Part II examination. The postgraduate measures were supervisors' ratings from the first year of residency (210 graduates) and total score on the NBME Part III (212). Univariate analysis of variance and Tukey's multiple-range test were used for the comparisons.


The only statistically significant difference among sites was for the medicine clerkship and involved only one undergraduate measure, the clerkship score (and the differences were slight, less than four percentage points).


Virtually no differences in the students' performances on the undergraduate and postgraduate measures were found among sites for the two clerkships.