Obesity Prevention, Treatment Underrepresented on Medical Licensing Exams

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Obesity prevention and treatment are underrepresented on US medical licensing exams.
Obesity prevention and treatment are underrepresented on US medical licensing exams.

HealthDay News -- The most important concepts of obesity prevention and treatment are not adequately represented on the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step examinations, according to a study published recently in Teaching and Learning in Medicine.

Six obesity specialists examined the obesity-related content of the three USMLE Step exams taken by medical students and residents.

The researchers found that exam items about obesity focused on assessment and management of obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes and obstructive sleep disorder, rather than the diagnosis and management of obesity itself. The investigators also found that important concepts of obesity prevention and treatment were poorly represented.

"The most important concepts of obesity prevention and treatment were not represented on the Step exams," the researchers wrote. "The expert review panel identified numerous important obesity-related topics that were insufficiently addressed or entirely absent from the examinations. The reviewers recommend that the areas identified for improvement may promote a more balanced testing of knowledge in obesity."

Reference

  1. Kushner RF, Butsch WF, Kahan S, Machineni S, Cook S, Aronne LJ. Obesity coverage on medical licensing examinations in the United States. What is being tested? [published online December 29, 2016]. Teach Learn Med. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2016.1250641
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