Low performance of internal medicine senior residents in in-service examinations

Document Type



Educational Development; Department of Medicine; Internal Medicine


We observed an unprecedented and consistent low performance of senior residents as compared with juniors in monthly examinations. This compelled us to evaluate systematically and compare the scores of senior residents with their junior colleagues. This retrospective observational study was conducted in April 2020 among internal medicine residents. Residents in first and second year of their training were labelled as junior residents. Residents in third or fourth year of their training were labelled as senior residents. Comparison of mean scores of each resident level was done separately both for monthly formative multiple-choice questions tests, and summative yearly end of term examinations. We discussed the possible reasons as well. There were 67 residents in year 2018 and 69 in 2019. There is no significant difference between scores of monthly examinations of years 2018 and 2019 among residents of each level. Rather, in March and December 2018, junior residents perform better than senior residents with p values of 0.01 and 0.04, respectively. In February and September 2019, senior residents performed better than junior residents with p value of 0.02. Similarly, there is no significant difference in scores of residents of each level in end-of-term examinations of years 2018 and 2019 with p values 0.18 and 0.25, respectively. Performance of senior residents in our residency programme in in-service examinations is relatively low as compared with their junior colleagues. There is a need to evaluate reasons for this relatively low performance of senior residents.


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Postgraduate Medical Journal