[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Other Articles
September 15, 1951


JAMA. 1951;147(3):261. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670200053016

The emphasis now placed on cancer in medical schools has prompted the need for assessment of the relative effectiveness of various teaching methods and the effectiveness of medical educational programs in general. The examination was originally prepared at the University of California in order to evaluate the program for bettering cancer teaching in the medical school.1 In view of the promising results obtained, a similar test on a nation-wide scale was undertaken in 1949 in consultation with, and with the financial support of, the National Cancer Institute. The test was given to 9,358 students in 32 four-year medical schools in the United States.2

The test was of the objective type and consisted of 180 five-choice, multiple-response items which varied greatly in complexity. Efforts were made to sample the whole field of cancer and to avoid controversial matters. The results showed wide differences between the average scores of students