Impact of a structured review session on medical student psychiatry subject examination performance

Shan H. Siddiqi, Kevin J. Black, Fay Y. Womer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) subject examinations are used as a standardized metric for performance in required clerkships for third-year medical students. While several medical schools have implemented a review session to help consolidate knowledge acquired during the clerkship, the effects of such an intervention are not yet well-established. An improvement in NBME psychiatry examination scores has previously been reported with a single end-of-clerkship review session, but this was limited by a small sample size and the fact that attendance at the review session was optional, leading to likely selection bias. Methods: A 1.5-hour structured review session was conducted for medical students in the last week of each 4-week psychiatry clerkship between September 2014 and July 2015. Students were required to attend unless excused due to scheduling conflicts. Scores on the NBME psychiatry subject exam were compared with those of students taking the examination in the corresponding time period in each of the previous two academic years. Results: 83 students took the exam during the experimental period, while 176 took the exam during the control period. Statistically significant improvements were found in mean score (p=0.03), mean for the two lowest scores in each group (p<0.0007), and percentage of students scoring 70 or less (p=0.03). Percentage of students achieving the maximum possible score (99) was higher in the experimental group, but did not reach significance (p=0.06). Conclusions: An end-of-clerkship review session led to increased mean scores on the NBME psychiatry subject examination, particularly for students at the lower end of the score range. Future research should investigate the impact of such an intervention in other specialties and other institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number897
StatePublished - 2015


  • Academic psychiatry
  • Clinical clerkship
  • Medical education
  • Medical students
  • NBME
  • Review session
  • Shelf


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