We were interested to see reference made to our study, "Influence of Effective Communication by Surgery Students on Their Oral Examination Scores,"1 in the article by Wade and Kaminsky published in the January 1995 issue of the Archives.2 We echo the invited comments by Dr Ritchie2(p87) and refer readers of the Archives to our later, much more comprehensive study in which the issue of content was addressed in considerably more detail.3 That study showed that although communication skills are a factor in oral examinations and may be important, the content of the answer is paramount in the overall score for the examination and was the strongest influence when looking at components contributing to that overall score. As Dr Ritchie implies in the Invited Commentary, a poor answer is a poor answer and deserves a failing grade and vice versa. We agree wholeheartedly with his comment.
Coe NPW, Rowland-Morin PA. Comparative Evaluation of Educational Methods in Surgical Resident Education. Arch Surg. 1995;130(9):1022. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1995.01430090108032
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