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Date Updated: April 10, 2018

NBME Announces Stemmler Grant Awards

Posted: April 10, 2018

The National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) announced that the 2017-2018 Stemmler Grant award winners are from University of Michigan, University of Calgary and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

This year, three projects were chosen to receive grant funds, totaling $393,549 in funds designed to provide support for research or development of innovative assessment approaches that will enhance the evaluation of those preparing to, or continuing to, practice medicine. The Stemmler Fund was created in 1995 to promote advances in the theory, knowledge, or practice of assessment at any point along the continuum of medical education, from undergraduate and graduate education and training, through practice. The Fund was named in honor of Dr. Edward J. Stemmler. Dr. Stemmler was largely responsible for the conception of the program while chair of the NBME. He also served as the first chair of the Fund's Steering Committee.

About this year’s award winners:

Brian C. George, MD, of the University of Michigan, was awarded $150,000 over two years for his project Using learning curves to redefine training requirements in General Surgery. The study aims to establish evidence for the amount of experience required for surgical trainees to become competent. Dr. George will explore the relationship between surgical trainee operative experience and operative proficiency, and how well existing case number standards ensure competence. According to the proposal, this work represents the first effort to define learning curves for a population of individual trainees across multiple institutions and for multiple operative procedures.

Primary investigators Maria Palacios Mackay, MD and Rachel Ellaway, MD of the University of Calgary, were awarded $93,988 over two years for their project entitled Seeking Constructive Alignment in Programs of Assessment. The study aims to explore the role of constructive alignment in programs of assessment – aligning assessment programs with local capabilities, values, and philosophies. The investigators plan to build a theoretical basis for constructive alignment in programmatic assessment, develop tools and techniques to help programs check for constructive alignment and adjust if necessary, and evaluate, validate, and disseminate the proposed tools and techniques in and for different medical education contexts. The investigators believe the proposal is innovative in that no comprehensive theoretical model purposefully designed to evaluate competency-based assessment programs or other kinds of systems of assessment have been developed or tested.

Primary investigator Mary A. Andrews, MD, MPH, of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, was awarded $149,561 over two years for her project A Randomized Trial of a Self-Regulated Learning Microanalytic Intervention to Improve Examination Performance in At-Risk Internal Medicine Clerkship Students. The study will examine the effect of a self-regulated learning microanalytic intervention on medical student performance on multiple-choice medical knowledge tests. The investigator will explore whether the intervention impacts performance on a number of NBME examinations, as well as a portion of the United States Medical Licensing Examination®.


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