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Licensing Scores Correlate With Dermatology Resident Scores

Study finds correlation between licensing exam Step 1 scores, resident in-training exam scores

TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 scores are moderately and significantly correlated with dermatology resident in-training examination (ITE) scores, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Katherine Fening, of The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues collected Step 1 and ITE scores for each of the three years of dermatology residency and recorded passage/failure rates on boards for 86 residents from five dermatology residency programs.

The researchers found that USMLE Step 1 and ITE scores were significantly correlated, with correlation coefficients for ITE with USMLE Step 1 of 0.467, 0.541, and 0.527 for years one, two, and three, respectively. Variability in ITE scores caused by differences in USMLE scores were 21.8 percent for first-year residents, 29.3 percent for second-year residents, and 27.8 percent for third-year residents.

"Residency program directors should consider that only ~26 percent of ITE performance is related to Step 1 performance. This is important when determining the amount of emphasis to be placed on Step 1 scores for residency selection," the authors write. "We also suggest individualizing resident ITE expectations based on USMLE scores, to maximize resident education and performance."

One author disclosed receiving honoraria from Astellas and Coria Labs.

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