multiple choice test

Newly-Minted Third-Year Medical Student Puzzled by Lack of Multiple-Choice Question

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Jenner Hobbs, a fresh new face on the internal medicine wards, is having trouble adjusting to his new environment. Having just finished the first United States Medical Licensing Examination, colloquially known as “Step”, Jenner is used to being provided with a vignette and answer choices. After careful deliberation, he selects the one he sees as best. Unfortunately for the soon to be medical graduate, the apparent lack of multiple choice questions has “really interrupted his flow”.

multiple choice test“I’m used to ripping through a vignette, using the highlight tool on UWorld to get straight to the point, then narrowing down the answer choices, all in under one minute. This allows me time to go back and review any questions I had trouble with”, stated the student. “Here in my clerkship, I haven’t seen any vignettes yet. I mean, I actually had to talk to a guy today. The dude didn’t even know the difference between supination and pronation. How am I supposed to get to the high yield points under conditions like this? After I finally dragged this story out of him, he didn’t even give me options on what might be wrong. How am I supposed to help him without answer choices?” continued the student.

Jenner’s girlfriend, Kelsey, who agreed to an interview, stated this problem has started invading other parts of his life. “Unless I give him a vignette and options for dinner, he’s completely helpless. He can’t function unless he’s got four to six options, preferably preceded by the letters A through E”.

Multiple nurses have complained about similar problems with previous medical students. “There’s always a few of them, well more than a few I would say, that will wander around aimlessly for the first few weeks of the clerkship muttering ‘It can’t be all of the above’ or ‘A and E both make sense!’. We actually have special patient history forms for them, with multiple choice options. Usually we can ween them off of them by the end of the rotation, but they’ll still shout ‘None of the above!’ sort of randomly, for another few weeks.”

At the conclusion of his interview, Jenner was found flipping through UWorld questions with a patient, asking “Is this what you are experiencing?”

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