While both oral and written communication skills are important in the daily work of physicians, medical school evaluation methods focus on content of written essays or often answers to multiple choice questions. To determine the feasibility and value of oral examinations for preclinical medical students, we gave a written short essay examination and an oral examination on the same question to 106 second-year medical students in a required neoplastic diseases course. Examination performance by each method was evaluated according to the same specific content and, separately, based on four communication skills criteria. We found high levels of inter-rater reliability with two oral examiners for both content and skills. Content and skills performance on both written and oral evaluations could be separately determined. Content performance was greater on the written evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health