Out of the 19 universities in Chile whose students took the Examen Médico Nacional (EMN), (National Medicine Exam) three accounted for over half of the students who failed the test.
The three universities—Universidad del Mar, Universidad de Antofagasta and Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción—enrolled 57% of failing students.
The EMN is taken by medical students whose universities voluntarily submit to testing.
The Examén Único Nacional de Conocimientos de Medicina (EUNACOM), (National Medicine Knowledge Exam) however, is mandated by law for medical students and offers a theoretical exam, similar to the EMN, as well as an additional section of practical.
Currently, EMN results are not considered when granting accreditation to a course or institution, but a new proposal could change that, according to the executive director of the Chile’s National Accreditation Commission, Carlos Medrano.
“Obviously, although you can’t get to make a direct connection between results and their evaluation for accreditation, it ought to be a very important variable to consider, which would reduce the result gap,” said Carlos Medrano.
Beltrán Mena, executive director of EUNACOM, considers the proposal “very sensible.” He told La Tercera, “I think it’s a very good idea that accreditation takes into account a schools’ past results. There must be consistency between EMN results and accreditation.”
Luis Ibáñez, dean of the Universidad de Chile’s medical school, which ranked first in EMN results, believes the assessment of a medical school is more complex than simply test results.
Yet he agreed “if we consider that the Examén Médico Nacional evaluates the minimum knowledge that a doctor must have to practice medicine in Chile, it seems logical that it falls within the parameters of the process of accreditation of a medical career.”
Proposals to give more weight to the EMN results will be reviewed through August and, if approved, exam results will be considered in accreditation from 2012.
By Mark Briggs – Santiago Times