AToMS + MedDifs

The Analysis of Teaching of Medical Schools (AToMS) study is a first of its kind study that has collected event-level data for every timetabled teaching session taking place on every A100 medical course in the United Kingdom (UK) for the academic year 2014-2015. We used a crowd-sourced approach to data extraction, deploying our team of approximately 150 medical students from each medical school in the country to code each teaching event. In short, we were able to standardise every timetabled teaching session taking place at every medical school in 2014-2015 into a single database.

AToMS will report its initial findings in a pair of papers in Spring 2020


Assessment at UK medical schools

In the UK, medical schools are free to develop local systems and policies that govern student assessment and progression. Successful completion of an undergraduate medical degree results in the automatic award of a provisional licence to practice medicine by the General Medical Council (GMC). Such a licensing process relies heavily on the assumption that individual schools develop similarly rigorous assessment policies.

Little work has evaluated variability of undergraduate medical assessment between medical schools. That absence is important in the light of the GMC’s recent announcement of the introduction of the UKMLA (UK Medical Licensing Assessment) for all doctors who wish to practise in the UK. This study aimed to quantify and compare the volume, type and intensity of summative assessment across medicine (A100) courses in the United Kingdom, and to assess whether intensity of assessment correlates with the postgraduate attainment of doctors from these schools.

Our findings were published in BMC Medical Education[1], and were written about in separate commentaries for BMJ Careers[2] and Student BMJ[3].