Earlier this year, a General Medical Council conference debated national assessments to ensure consistency in standards between medical schools. Katie Fletcher argues against this
Having recently completed my final examinations, I feel thoroughly and rigorously assessed. I face continuous assessment within the Foundation Programmes and ever after until retirement. I may well, in fact, be assessed “from cradle to grave.” And yet an apparent lack of consistency between the assessment methods used at different medical schools has led to calls for a further national assessment process.
UK medical schools vary enormously in their teaching methods and assessments. Their curriculums and assessments must be developed in accordance with the GMC's document Tomorrow's Doctors,1 and some consistency in standards is ensured by the Quality Assurance of Basic Medical Education (QABME) as well as the system of external examiners. Within this loose framework, however, very differing styles of teaching and assessment have developed.2
Diversity and innovation are key attributes of the current system of UK medical student assessment. Content and style of assessment drives learning,3 and so