Are multiple-choice questions a good tool for the assessment of clinical competence in Internal Medicine?

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Flavio Tangianu
Antonino Mazzone
Franco Berti
Giuliano Pinna
Irene Bortolotti
Fabrizio Colombo
Carlo Nozzoli
Micaela La Regina
Antonio Greco
Cristina Filannino
Mauro Silingardi
Roberto Nardi *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Roberto Nardi |


There are many feasible tools for the assessment of clinical practice, but there is a wide consensus on the fact that the simultaneous use of several different methods could be strategic for a comprehensive overall judgment of clinical competence. Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are a well-established reliable method of assessing knowledge. Constructing effective MCQ tests and items requires scrupulous care in the design, review and validation stages. Creating high-quality multiple-choice questions requires a very deep experience, knowledge and large amount of time. Hereby, after reviewing their construction, strengths and limitations, we debate their completeness for the assessment of professional competence.

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