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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-15

The Saudi Medical Licensure Examination-Clinical Skills (SMLE-CS): A call for implementation

1 College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; College of Graduate Health Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
2 College of Medicine, Alfaisal University; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ahmed Abu-Zaid
College of Graduate Health Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee 38163

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_128_19

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The Saudi Commission for Heath Specialties (SCFHS) was founded in 1992 to nationally regulate healthcare-related practices and accreditation. Specifically, SCFHS is the official organization that principally oversees the postgraduate residency training programs (RTPs). A crucial aim of SCFHS is to warrant that medical graduates, prior to their enrollment into RTPs as first-year resident physicians, have national minimum entry standards of learning competencies to practice safe and effective healthcare. Generally, there are three primary domains of learning competencies that should be assessed, namely: theoretical clinical knowledge, practical clinical skills and professional attitudes. SCFHS primarily evaluates the theoretical clinical knowledge of applicants through the administration of the Saudi Medical Licensure Examination (SMLE) and we call on SCFHS to rename the conventional SMLE to SMLE-Clinical Knowledge (CK), or shortly abbreviated as SMLE-CK. On the other hand, to date, there is no examination administered by the SCFHS that assesses the applicants' competencies of practical clinical skills and professional attitudes prior to admission to RTPs. Herein, we call on SCFHS to formally incorporate a mandatory national practical licensure examination. The suggested name is the SMLE-Clinical Skills (CS), or shortly abbreviated as SMLE-CS. The purpose, structure, content, rationale, potential counteractive views and future research directions regarding the SMLE-CS are presented. This proposal is not limited to Saudi Arabia only, and it may be contemplated by the other countries, too.

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