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Focus on teaching, not assessing, the surgeons and physicians of tomorrow
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We thank the authors for their kind response to our paper, and acknowledgement of the resources we have produced. The subject of their letter relates to assessments and addressing the problem of exam mark seeking behavior demonstrated by students. The problem with exam seeking behavior is that rather than concentrating on becoming excellent physicians and surgeons, students concentrate on being excellent at passing exams.
The authors of the letter propose ensuring the passing of the exam also requires passing each segment, and my understanding of this is having an overall and a subsection pass mark. This is obviously a great idea on paper, but the potential for error is vast for administrators and for mark standardization.
As physicians, it's our duty to ensure tomorrows doctors have all skills to equip them in the process of professionalization, this includes at the core, a working knowledge of neurology, cardiology, respiratory, surgery, etc., It is through our teaching as surgeons and physicians that we can ensure this happens, not through attempting to conquer the exam mark seeking behavior, that has always been present in medical school.
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