Angewandte Methoden bei Facharztprüfungen: Eine systematische Literaturübersicht

Staudenmann, Daniel; Waldner, Noemi; Lörwald, Andrea; Huwendiek, Sören (15 September 2021). Angewandte Methoden bei Facharztprüfungen: Eine systematische Literaturübersicht. In: GMA-Jahrestagung DocV29-01. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House 10.3205/21gma109

Introduction: Specialty certification exams (“Facharztprüfungen”) are high-stakes summative assessments that decide which doctors have the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to treat patients independently. These exams vary significantly among medical specialties and countries. In this systematic review, we aim to give an overview of the medical specialty certification exams published. The exams will be evaluated according to the Ottawa Criteria of good assessment (validity, reliability, equivalence, feasibility, acceptability, catalytic and educational effect). We will conclude by making recommendations for future practice and areas of study.

Methods: This systematic literature review uses the PICOS framework and aims to locate all relevant papers concerning medical specialty certification exams published in English between the years of 2000 and 2020 in seven databases (MEDLINE(R) ALL, EMBASE, APA PsycINFO and ERIC via Ovid, SCOPUS, the Cochrane Trial Library and Web of Science). Papers are screened in two rounds by two independent researchers with relevant papers being selected for inclusion in the final overview.

Results: After removal of duplicates, 2852 papers were screened for inclusion, of which 73 met all relevant criteria. Reliability, validity and acceptability were the Ottawa Criteria most commonly studied. Around half the papers published were about American specialty certification exams. Final comparisons and recommendations are yet to be completed and will be available in time for the GMA in September '21.

Discussion: The last systematic review examining the effectiveness of medical specialty certification exams we are aware of was published in 2002 by Hutchinson et al. It lamented the relative scarcity of published evidence relative to the importance of specialty certification exams. Since then, interest in the topic of patient safety and effective medical education has increased sharply amid a growing public recognition for the importance of credible certification processes. This shift is reflected by the increasing amount of literature published and used in our review.

Take Home Message: Different examination methods are used for medical specialty certification exams (Facharztprüfungen) around the world. In this systematic review we evaluate them using the “Ottawa criteria” and make recommendations for future development and study.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute for Medical Education
04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute for Medical Education > Assessment and Evaluation Unit (AAE)

UniBE Contributor:

Staudenmann, Daniel Lukas; Lörwald, Andrea Carolin and Huwendiek, Sören


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health


German Medical Science GMS Publishing House




Susanne Yvonne Moser-Eichenberger

Date Deposited:

20 Jan 2022 07:58

Last Modified:

20 Jan 2022 07:58

Publisher DOI:



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