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issn:2229-340
1.  A practical discussion to avoid common pitfalls when constructing multiple choice questions items 
This paper is an attempt to produce a guide for improving the quality of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) used in undergraduate and postgraduate assessment. Multiple Choice Questions type is the most frequently used type of assessment worldwide. Well constructed, context rich MCQs have a high reliability per hour of testing. Avoidance of technical items flaws is essential to improve the validity evidence of MCQs. Technical item flaws are essentially of two types (i) related to testwiseness, (ii) related to irrelevant difficulty. A list of such flaws is presented together with discussion of each flaw and examples to facilitate learning of this paper and to make it learner friendly. This paper was designed to be interactive with self-assessment exercises followed by the key answer with explanations.
doi:10.4103/1319-1683.71992
PMCID: PMC3045096  PMID: 21359033
Pitfalls; assessment; student
2.  GUIDELINES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS TESTS 
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) are generally recognized as the most widely applicable and useful type of objective test items. They could be used to measure the most important educational outcomes - knowledge, understanding, judgment and problem solving. The objective of this paper is to give guidelines for the construction of MCQs tests. This includes the construction of both “single best option” type, and “extended matching item” type. Some templates for use in the “single best option” type of questions are recommended.
PMCID: PMC3410060  PMID: 23012132
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs); Assessment; Extended matching Item; Evaluation; Students; Training
3.  OUTPATIENT MANAGEMENT OF TYPE 2 DIABETIC PATIENTS: A REVIEW OF EVIDENCE-BASED LITERATURE 
Diabetes mellitus is a common, serious, and treatable disease. Good control is associated with fewer complications. The impact of the disease on the patient, family and the community psychologically and physically is staggering. This paper aims to update the reader on certain issues related to the management of diabetes. Recent criteria for the diagnosis are presented followed by non-pharmacological and pharmacological management, glycemic monitoring, prevention, continuity of diabetes care and the control of co-morbidities. Throughout, as far as possible, the best available evidence was used.
PMCID: PMC3410075  PMID: 23012096
Type 2 Diabetes; Diabetes Management; Guideline and Out-Patients
4.  CHARACTERISTICS OF IMMUNIZATION PROVIDERS IN RIYADH AND THEIR SELF-PERCEPTION OF COMPETENCY 
Objective:
To study the demographic characteristics of immunization providers in Riyadh City and their self-perception of competency.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted among immunization providers in Riyadh City from August 2003 to March 2004. This study covered 71 institutions: (25 primary health care centers, 30 private clinics and dispensaries, 8 government hospitals and 8 private hospitals). Immunization providers were selected by stratified random process. One hundred and one physicians participated in the study and the data were obtained by self-administered questionnaires, tabulated and analyzed using appropriate statistics.
Results:
The participating physicians were mostly pediatricians (50.5%) and general practitioners (38.6%). About 47% of them had had no training in immunization during the preceding 10 years. Self-evaluation revealed that 30.7% of them ranked themselves as excellent, 67.3% as average and 2.0% as poor immunization providers. Self-confidence was associated with specialty, qualification, place of work, years of experience and training on immunization (p<0.05). Most of participating doctors (83.7%) used books as their references. The doctors were least confident in vaccinating pregnant and lactating women and the vaccination of travelers to endemic areas.
Conclusion:
To improve immunization services, doctors should be trained before being involved in this practice. There should be frequent distribution of national and international protocols with the auditing of the practice to improve and sustain a highly effective service.
PMCID: PMC3410135  PMID: 23012070
Vaccination; Immunization provider; Self-Perception and Saudi Arabia
5.  COMMUNITY-BASED FAMILY MEDICINE COURSE: DOES IT HAVE IMPACT ON STUDENTS’ LEARNING ACHIEVEMENTS, ATTITUDE AND CAREER CHOICE? 
Objective:
To assess the impact of a six-week Family Medicine (FM) course on students’ self-assessment of their own knowledge, skills and their attitude towards innovative learning methods and career choice before and after the course, and their evaluation of different aspects of the course curriculum.
Design:
An observational study, where the study subjects were requested to fill out a standardized five-point Likert scale questionnaire at the start and at the end of the course. The questionnaire explored their knowledge and attitude in addition to their general evaluation of the course. One hundred forty-seven fourth year medical students who undertook FM clinical rotation were the study subjects. The course had some innovative features. For example, students were involved in the selection of the course content by identifying their learning needs.
Results:
A comparison of pre and post-test observations showed a statistically significant improvement in students’ assessment of their knowledge (p < 0.0001) and clinical skills (p = 0.012). A significant positive change was also observed in their choice of FM as a future career (p = 0.008). The intervention was not effective (non-significant difference) on (i) students’ attitude towards innovative learning methods (p = 0.314) and (ii) students’ attitude towards patients and certain ethical issues (p = 0.99). As the curriculum stemmed from collaboration of learners and teachers, the students were satisfied with the content.
Recommendations:
There is a need to improve the training in the HC by recruiting family practitioners (FP) who have had residency training for the specialty and to train the other physicians in how to supervise and guide medical students. Topics on ethical issues should be introduced into the college curriculum.
PMCID: PMC3410083  PMID: 23012063
Family Medicine; knowledge; skills; attitudes; career; King Saud University

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