The divisions of this symposium deal with the role of the external examination as a method of evaluation, and its application at the state and national level. My role, as I see it, is to make some comments about the functions of the external examination, and the influence they have in student learning and teaching performance.
The external examination as a measurement of medical competence is now a firmly established procedure both in the United States and in Canada.
Before proceeding any further with this subject, I think it would be safe to say that the authors of this symposium would agree in principle with Casberg's1 comment that "A consistently weak thread running through the warp and woof of the very fabric of medical education is our examination system." If our measurement techniques had reached the level where there was uniform agreement that they could satisfactorily measure the goals
Wilson DR. The External Examination as an Evaluation of Teaching Performance and Student Learning. JAMA. 1966;198(7):755–757. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110200111030