Retención de los conocimientos básicos en cinco generaciones de alumnos que terminaron los dos primeros años del plan único de la carrera de médico cirujano en la Facultad de Medicina, UNAM (2007-2011).

A five-generation assessment of basic science knowledge retention at the end of the second year of medical school. at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (2007-2011)

Teresa Imelda Fortoul van der Goes a, Sara Morales López b Armando Muñoz Comonfort c, Antonio Jacobo Méndez d, Margarita Varela Ruíz d, Vianey Rodríguez Larae.

a Coordinación de Ciencias Básicas, Departamento de Biología Celular y Tisular, Departamento de Integración de Ciencias Médicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. México D.F., México.
bDepartamento de Integración de Ciencias Médicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. México D.F., México.
cCoordinación de Ciencias Básicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. México D.F., México.
d Departamento de Investigación en Educación Médica, Secretaría de Educación Médica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. México D.F., México.
e Departamento de Biología Celular y Tisular. Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. México D.F., México.

Recepción 19 de junio 2012; aceptación 23 de julio de 2012

Palabras Clave

Ciencias Básicas; conocimientos básicos; retención de conocimiento; educación médica de pregrado; evaluación formativa.

Keywords

Basic sciences; basic knowledge; undergraduate medical education; knowledge decay; formative assessment.

Abstract

Introduction: It is not unusual during the clinical clerkship to hear complaints about the inadequate scientific knowledge that undergraduates retain from their basic science years, and there are reports supporting the relevance of this knowledge in the future understanding of clinical diagnoses and management.

Objective: To assess the retention of basic science knowledge after the first two-years of medical school studies, previous to clinical clerkships; a five-year longitudinal retrospective study was implemented.

Method: A 120-item Multiple Choice Question test to assess the basic knowledge retention was structured by the academic departments in charge of each course. The same assessment was applied each year at the same time, after the end of the first two years of medical school and before their clinical clerkship rotations.

Results: More than 75% of students from each class took the exam: 894 (80.7%) in 2007; 752 (86.9%) in 2008; 820 (77.2%) in 2009; 890 (79.8%) in 2010 and 925 (84.4%) in 2011. Cronbach’s α was above 0.7 in each test application. Besides the 2011 class which had a lower mean score, the average for each year remained similar. The lowest scores were for Medical Psychology and Pharmacology, followed by Physiology, Developmental Biology and Cell and Tissue Biology. Public Health I and II and Surgery had the highest scores. When groups are ordered by scores’ average, only the two High Achievement Program Groups (PAEA) had a score equal or higher than 6.

Conclusion: Our findings are in agreement with those reported in the literature. The gap of basic and clinical knowledge seems to be a common problem in undergraduates. New strategies should be explored for students to integrate basic sciences with clinical work, resulting in an improved understanding of the scientific foundation of medical practice.