Do Test Grades Reflect Clinical Skills?
With the results of our recent exams back, there has inevitably been concern about our grades and the implications for those who did not do as well as they would have liked to. The question that always remains is to what degree written exams actually predict your success as a clinician in the future. I guess you can make the argument that this is where the practical portion of exams is useful, since they obviously reflect a more realistic application of the material. However, it doesn't change the fact that we all tend to stress about less-than-perfect exam grades.
I'm wondering what everyone thinks about this? It's so hard to let go of the ideas that have been ingrained in us throughout 16-plus years of schooling - that grades are of ultimate importance. Realistically, as we train to be future clinicians, what should matter is the application of our skills in clinical settings. However none of us, including myself, can let go of the feeling that our success is measured on a scale from A to F.
Some of the most talented people in my class, who will undoubtedly become incredible clinicians, are feeling the same way. And while I don't yet consider myself in their "class" as far as clinical skills are concerned, I can sympathize with how they are feeling. I hope that one day we will all stop basing our success on a grading scale and realize that what matters is how we perform in the clinic.