Prof. Fun-Gee CHEN
Associate Professor of Anaesthesia
National University of Singapore
Clinical and Academic Appointments
In the US, the Board Certification examinations in Anesthesiology started in 1938, and in the United Kingdom, the Diploma of Anaesthesia, started in 1948. Only successful candidates at these examinations could be admitted to the specialist boards. This approach was adopted very quickly in the commonwealth countries with Hong Kong having the HKCA examinations and in Singapore the MMed (Anaesthesia) examinations.
Interestingly, in continental Europe, the approach to certification pays less emphasis on high stakes examination and more on frequent low stakes assessments. A Dutch anaesthetist, would have undergone similar years of training in an accredited programme, undergo numerous workbased assessments and only need to pass the 2-part European Diploma Intensive Care examination at the end of training to be certified. Yet these countries enjoy a very high standard of anaesthesia and intensive care, as seen in the anaesthesia and intensive care outcomes and life expectancies.
Programmatic assessments was first described by Van Der Vleuten CPM in 2005 as an approach to medical assessments. The assessments involve collection routine information about the learner’s competence. The learner’s progress is continually collected, analysed and, where needed, complemented with purposively collected additional assessment information. This information, rather than a singular final examination is used to determine if the learner has met all the requirements at the end of the training.
The presentation will answer concerns on whether programmatic assessments are psychometrically valid and robust. The experience in Singapore as the approach to promote residents in 2020 in the middle of COVID pandemic in Singapore will be presented. The experience with the National Pharmacy Residency program using the programmatic approach instead of a high stakes final examination will also be discussed.
C. P. M. van der Vleuten et al., (2012) A model for programmatic assessment fit for purpose, Medical Teacher, 34:3, 205-214