Virtual Examination for Final Year Orthopaedics Postgraduate Residents during COVID-19: Is it a Viable Alternative? RC01-RC04
Dr. Zubair Younis Ringshawl,
152, S3, L4, Gulberg Colony, Hyderpora, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
Introduction: Final year examinations for postgraduate residents of medical colleges in India were scheduled according to a defined protocol where doctor patient relationship was given utmost importance. Due to the currently prevailing pandemic, it has become extremely unsafe to conduct such an examination. So, an innovative method was devised by the Department of Orthopaedics, GMC Srinagar to ensure safety of the examiners and candidates as well as maintaining the required standard of the examination. This method was employed successfully in conducting exit examinations of final year postgraduate residents in this department.
Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness by a preformed questionnaire (developed by the faculty of Department of Orthopaedics, GMC Srinagar), Jammu and Kashmir, India of virtual pattern for exit examinations of final year postgraduate residents of medical colleges in India.
Materials and Methods:A total number of 10 candidates appeared in the final year (MS Orthopaedics) examination. The conventional format which consisted of assigning patients to the candidates was replaced by a digital presentation format. In this format, the cases were prepared by the faculty, in the form of individual digital presentations for long as well as short cases. Presentation format consisted of detailed history, clinical examination, photographs of any deformity, elicited clinical signs and radiological imaging. A mock test was conducted four weeks before the date of the exam so that the candidates were familiar with the new virtual pattern. A questionnaire was designed to assess the acceptability of the virtual examination. It comprised of 10 questions and each answer was graded on a three point Likert point scale, producing a maximum score of 2 and a minimum score of 0 for each question.
Results: Mean total scores for both the groups (examiners and candidates) were 18.25 and 16.9, respectively. The overall outcome regarding the responses was satisfactory in both the groups. The scoring was highest for the safety of the examination in examiner as well as the candidate group. In addition, overall satisfaction also scored the highest among the examiner group.
Conclusion: This virtual pattern of examination presents a viable interim alternative to the traditional face to face examination, though it may not replace the latter. The time frame of the pandemic and its trend is difficult to imagine at this point of time, so, the virtual pattern might have to be used for future examinations as well. In addition, this pattern may even be utilised by other departments to frame their examinations.