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Nutrition content of summative examinations within an Australian 4-year graduate entry medical course: 2013-2016

Perlstein, Robyn, McLeod, Janet, Bell, Colin and Nowson, Caryl 2021, Nutrition content of summative examinations within an Australian 4-year graduate entry medical course: 2013-2016, BMJ nutrition, prevention and health, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 251-256, doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000280.

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Title Nutrition content of summative examinations within an Australian 4-year graduate entry medical course: 2013-2016
Author(s) Perlstein, Robyn
McLeod, Janet
Bell, ColinORCID iD for Bell, Colin orcid.org/0000-0003-2731-9858
Nowson, CarylORCID iD for Nowson, Caryl orcid.org/0000-0001-6586-7965
Journal name BMJ nutrition, prevention and health
Volume number 4
Issue number 1
Start page 251
End page 256
Total pages 6
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2021-06
ISSN 2516-5542
Summary Background Poor nutrition is a major contributor to chronic disease, but the level of nutrition education in medical training is limited. Deakin University Medical School has been working to embed more nutrition into the curriculum since 2009. Aim To assess the nutrition content of all summative examinations in the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery over a 4-year period. Methods The type, amount and scope of nutrition-related questions were assessed in all summative examinations delivered to all 4-year levels from 2013 to 2016. These were assessed independently and analysed for nutrition content. The amount of nutrition was quantified, and the nutrition topic areas and nutrition competencies addressed were documented. Results Less than 10% of summative examination questions contained any nutrition content. For first-year and second-year students, these examinations included an average yearly total of 433 multiple choice questions (MCQs) (range 337–530) and 47 short answer questions (SAQs) (range 33–62). Third-year and fourth-year students had 150 MCQs on average per year and no SAQs. The percentage of nutrition-related questions across all 4 years ranged from 6% in 2013 to 10% in 2016. The proportion of SAQs with nutrition content ranged from 12% in 2013 to 19% in 2016. Basic nutritional sciences, accounted for 60% of nutrition content and, 25% addressed dietary strategies for prevention and treatment of disease, and skills-based nutrition competencies represented approximately 10% of all questions. Summary and conclusions Minimal nutrition was included in the summative examinations. There did not appear to be any consistent increase in the nutrition content of MCQs over the 4-year period but there was some indication of an increase in nutrition content in SAQs. Longer term evaluation is required to confirm this trend. Only a small number of nutrition questions were skills based, most focused on basic nutritional science. Examinations included few skills-based nutrition questions, and consideration of setting a minimum level of nutrition in examinations could assist in ensuring the development of appropriate nutrition competencies in medical graduates.
Language eng
DOI 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000280
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 111101 Clinical and Sports Nutrition
111716 Preventive Medicine
Socio Economic Objective 920411 Nutrition
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30152366

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.