Are multiple-choice questions a good tool for the assessment of clinical competence in Internal Medicine?

  • Flavio Tangianu Internal Medicine, S. Martino Hospital, Oristano, Italy.
  • Antonino Mazzone Medical Department, Internal Medicine, ASST Ovest-Milanese, Legnano (MI), Italy.
  • Franco Berti Internal Medicine, S. Camillo Forlanini, Roma, Italy.
  • Giuliano Pinna Internal Medicine, Asti, Italy.
  • Irene Bortolotti Managing Director-Planning Congressi, Bologna, Italy.
  • Fabrizio Colombo Internal Medicine, Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital, Milano, Italy.
  • Carlo Nozzoli Internal Medicine and Emergency, Careggi Hospital, Firenze, Italy.
  • Micaela La Regina Internal Medicine, S.S. Risk Management, Presidio Ospedaliero Unico del Levante Ligure, La Spezia, Italy.
  • Antonio Greco Geriatric Department, Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), Italy.
  • Cristina Filannino Department of Government, Health and not for profit, Luigi Bocconi University, Milano, Italy.
  • Mauro Silingardi Internal Medicine, Bologna, Italy.
  • Roberto Nardi | Internal Medicine, Bologna, Italy.


There are many feasible tools for the assessment of clinical practice, but there is a wide consensus on the fact that the simultaneous use of several different methods could be strategic for a comprehensive overall judgment of clinical competence. Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are a well-established reliable method of assessing knowledge. Constructing effective MCQ tests and items requires scrupulous care in the design, review and validation stages. Creating high-quality multiple-choice questions requires a very deep experience, knowledge and large amount of time. Hereby, after reviewing their construction, strengths and limitations, we debate their completeness for the assessment of professional competence.


Download data is not yet available.
Multiple-choice questions, clinical competence, pass mark criteria.
Abstract views: 957

PDF: 413
HTML: 807
Share it

PlumX Metrics

PlumX Metrics provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment. Examples include, when research is mentioned in the news or is tweeted about. Collectively known as PlumX Metrics, these metrics are divided into five categories to help make sense of the huge amounts of data involved and to enable analysis by comparing like with like.

How to Cite
Tangianu, F., Mazzone, A., Berti, F., Pinna, G., Bortolotti, I., Colombo, F., Nozzoli, C., La Regina, M., Greco, A., Filannino, C., Silingardi, M., & Nardi, R. (2018). Are multiple-choice questions a good tool for the assessment of clinical competence in Internal Medicine?. Italian Journal of Medicine, 12(2), 88-96.

Most read articles by the same author(s)