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November 1969

Some Comments on Self-Assessment of Psychiatric Knowledge and Skills

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(5):513-514. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740230001001

IN AN editorial,1 Hugh T. Carmichael, MD, Director of the Office of Continuing Education for Psychiatrists of the American Psychiatric Association, advocated a self-administered test on psychiatric knowledge and skills. A sample of this test, developed in cooperation with the National Board of Medical Examiners, was distributed, and a prospectus inviting the members to take the test states the names of the persons on the three committees who formulated the questions and prepared the form of presentation. As is customary in such cases, the list of names is imposing. It is supposed to reassure the individual that the test is well constructed and that the results are valid and reliable. But is that so?

The most imposing list of names or the most overwhelming numbers of votes in favor of a statement does not assure its truth. This can only be ascertained by

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