Should Medical Board Exams Allow for Cellphones During Test-Taking Sessions!
Medical Information versus Medical Knowledge
We should not mistake medical information for medical knowledge! I do firmly believe that the top two most prestigious medical exam producers of the United States, namely, NBME and NBOME, are well aware of this matter.
For what I know, there used to be a time when only physicians had access to the vast database of medical information. For what I further know, these days we can hardly go anywhere without our smart cellphones! Our cellphones have become the indispensable, 24/7, parts of our lives. Anyone who knows the art of internet searching can easily come up with all sorts of health-related data and information. Would you be willing to grant license of practicing medicine to anyone who has access to more medical data and information? Of course, ‘not’. Medical board exams are not trivia games about medically-related facts… PERIOD! Only those who preside over knowledge and wisdom of medicine should be allowed to practice medicine!
I trust that NBME and NBOME organizations are considerate of the aforementioned matters. For this reason, I believe that their new generations of test items will progressively target assessing medical knowledge at the expense of minimizing usage of medical information. When will they start doing this? You will be surprised to hear that they have been doing this for quite some time!
The question is not whether medical board exam testing sessions should allow for the cellphones or not? It is rather when and how they should allow it!
What is knowledge (information) hierarchy and how is it related to the above comments?
The knowledge pyramid is commonly known as DIKW pyramid/hierarchy, and wisdom hierarchy. It depicts structural and functional relationships between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (DIKW). Each higher-level category is explained or defined based on the level that is located immediately below it. For instance, wisdom relies on knowledge, and information on data!
Conclusion: In a world that the cell-phone search engines can bring all sorts of health-related information to anyone instantaneously, wisdom and knowledge are the only two levels of DIKW that should define the proper roles and functions of our physicians.
Catch you all healthily later!