Background Many doctors in training of other specialities make a monthly rotation in the rheumatology unit, but usually no formal assessment of the skills and knowledge acquired is performed.
Objectives To know which factors are related to learning of Rheumatology skills by training doctors (MIR) of other specialties rotating in spanish Rheumatology units.
Methods An online platform for the evaluation of the knowledge of Rheumatology has been developed (REUMEVAL, see www.reumeval.com). It contains a set (DB) of 300 multiple-choice questions developed by staff rheumatologists on 10 topics of general interest. The set questions passed a Delphi round and 15% of them were replaced by more appropriate ones.
Each MIR that goes to perform a rotation in a teaching Rheumatology Unit (REU) is offered to participate with two tests of 30 questions randomly extracted from the DB. The first test is done just arriving at REU, assessing the basic knowledge that was obtained in the university. At the end of the rotation in REU, usually 30 days, a second test is performed, assessing the increase of knowledge achieved.
Results As of December 2016, 384 tests were carried out by 216 physicians training in 14 hospitals of the Valencian region in Spain Of these, 166 (77%) completed both tests. 74% were in training for family medicine (MFC). The mean score of the 1st test was 5.59 (out of 10 points), and the second test was 6.55 points, with an average increase of scorings of 22.4% (p<0.001). Men showed higher scorings than women in their 1st test (5.92 vs 5.56), but the difference was lost in the 2nd test (6.79 vs 6.47). Younger residents (ages 20–30 years) had a 1st higher score than those aged 30–40 or>40 years (5.8 vs 5.2 vs 5.1 respectively) but were similar in the 2nd test (6.6 Vs 6.3 vs. 6.8). By nationality, Spaniards had higher initial scores than foreigners (5.78 vs 4.91, p<0.01) but there were no differences in the second test (6.55 vs 6.49). For specialties, dermatology, internal medicine and RHB had initial scores higher than MFC (7.3 - 6.1 - 6.3 vs. 5.4), but in the second test there were no significant differences.
Conclusions The level of knowledge in Rheumatology of the residents who start a training rotation in this specialty is moderate, with an average of 5.59 points out of 10 possible. At the end of the rotation their scores increased an average of 22%, which shows a significant improvement but still not very high. Several factors were related to basic knowledge scores but lost significance in the final test, reflecting appropriate improvements in knowledge in all subgroups.
Acknowledgements To Fundacion Valenciana de Reumatologia and to MSD laboratories for an unrestricted grant.
Disclosure of Interest None declared