BACKGROUND: Little is known about the associations of previous standardized examination scores with scores on subsequent standardized examinations used to assess medical knowledge in internal medicine residencies. OBJECTIVE: To examine associations of previous standardized test scores on subsequent standardized test scores. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred ninety-five internal medicine residents. METHODS: Bivariate associations of United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Steps and Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE) scores were determined. Random effects analysis adjusting for repeated administrations of the IM-ITE and other variables known or hypothesized to affect IM-ITE score allowed for discrimination of associations of individual USMLE Step scores on IM-ITE scores. RESULTS: In bivariate associations, USMLE scores explained 17% to 27% of the variance in IME-ITE scores, and previous IM-ITE scores explained 66% of the variance in subsequent IM-ITE scores. Regression coefficients (95% CI) for adjusted associations of each USMLE Step with IM-ITE scores were USMLE-1 0.19 (0.12, 0.27), USMLE-2 0.23 (0.17, 0.30), and USMLE-3 0.19 (0.09, 0.29). CONCLUSIONS: No single USMLE Step is more strongly associated with IM-ITE scores than the others. Because previous IM-ITE scores are strongly associated with subsequent IM-ITE scores, appropriate modeling, such as random effects methods, should be used to account for previous IM-ITE administrations in studies for which IM-ITE score is an outcome.
- Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE)
- Medical knowledge
- Random effects modeling
- United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine