We are immersed in a world of technology—robotic surgery, genetic manipulation, molecular biology, et cetera.
Yet, my plea is simple and direct: Do not forget the basics of physical examination, for many times, they more quickly and efficiently lead to the clinical diagnosis than the newer diagnostic modalities.
In my earlier entry, I wrote about common errors made by test-takers. Probably the most common error made by the test-taker is that he or she hurriedly reads the stem without careful attention to all details.
This is the time of year that many new graduates in the health professions prepare for national certifying examinations.
I write from several perspectives: a professor with many years’ experience in medical education, an experienced test item writer who served on a national certifying board, and as the author of two medical review books.
A certifying examination is a “two-way street.”
The test item writers must be careful in constructing the stem of questions. As an example, the skilled writer tries to do the following: