Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics

Linguistic performance features in clinical skills exams - report published by King's College London with the University of Nottingham

Performance features

Update (March 2015): The report 'Performance features in clinical skills assessment' is now available as a hard copy from the University's online store (£15 each, including postage).

A  research report published in November 2014 by King’s College London with the University of Nottingham has identified linguistic features that contribute to our understanding of the reasons why International Medical Graduates (IMGs) have a lower success rate than their UK counterparts in the UK’s General Practice licensing examination. The research focused on linguistic and cultural factors that could affect performance and was designed to have a positive impact on the ongoing concern about differential pass rates.

Many post-graduate medical exams experience differentials in pass rates between UK graduates and those with their primary medical qualifications from overseas. A number of these exams include a standardised assessment of clinical consulting skills, with role-players performing as patients. These role-plays  enable examiners to assess not only a candidate’s clinical knowledge, but crucially how that knowledge is deployed and communicated with a patient in a spoken context. The findings of this research have implications for other similar assessments of medical clinical practice, as well as the training we can provide for candidates.

The results of the research are being used to develop various materials targeted at General Practitioners preparing to take their exams, including an e-learning module and textbook. Dr Sarah Atkins has developed a workshop programme for GPs, which she has delivered to various groups across the country. You can register your interest in these workshops and find more information including the project report on the Simulating Medical Talk project website.

Posted on Monday 17th November 2014

Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics

The University of Nottingham

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