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Doctors who pilot the GMC's Tests of Competence: who volunteers and why?

Mehdizadeh, L; Sturrock, A; Myers, G; Khatib, Y; Dacre, J; (2014) Doctors who pilot the GMC's Tests of Competence: who volunteers and why? Postgraduate Medical Journal , 90 675- 679. 10.1136/postgradmedj-2013-132324. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Doctors who are investigated by the General Medical Council (GMC) for performance concerns may be required to take a Test of Competence (ToC). The tests are piloted on volunteer doctors before they are used in Fitness to Practise (FtP) investigations. Objectives: To find out who volunteers to take a pilot ToC and why. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study. Between February 2011 and October 2012 we asked doctors who volunteered for a test to complete a questionnaire about their reasons for volunteering and recruitment. We analysed the data using descriptive statistics and Pearson’s chi-square test. Results: 301 doctors completed the questionnaire. Doctors who took a ToC voluntarily were mostly women, of white ethnicity, of junior grades, working in general practice and who held a Primary Medical Qualification from the UK. This was a different population to doctors under investigation and all registered doctors in the UK. Most volunteers heard about the GMC’s pilot events through email from a colleague and used the experience to gain exam practice for forthcoming postgraduate exams. Conclusions: The reference group of volunteers are not representative of doctors under FtP investigation. Our findings will be used to inform future recruitment strategies with the aim to encourage better matching of groups who voluntarily pilot a ToC with those under FtP investigation.

Type: Article
Title: Doctors who pilot the GMC's Tests of Competence: who volunteers and why?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2013-132324
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2013-132324
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
Keywords: General Medical Council, Fitness to Practise, Competence, Volunteer, Pilot, Assessment, Performance
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1450008
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