Continuing education questions for a talk on diagnostic tests

Steve Simon


As part of my talk to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, I have been asked to present two questions related to my topic (Use of Diagnostic Tests for Making Clinical Decisions). These questions would consist of a brief clinical stem followed by four choices on how to manage the situation. These will be presented prior to my talk and then afterwards to see how effective the training is.

I have not officially developed these questions yet, but obviously, I cannot ask questions that require medical judgment. I believe there are two areas I could ask questions about.

First, I could find a diagnostic test described in an open source medical publication and state the sensitivity and specificity. Then I could ask questions about how well the test could rule in or rule out. Possibly I could ask what would happen if your practice was in an area where the prevalence was much lower.

Second, I could find a publication that studied a diagnostic test using a less than ideal research design. Perhaps a study with spectrum bias or incomplete ascertainment with the gold standard. Then I would ask what the limitations of the research study are.

When I get the questions written, I’ll ask if I can publish them on this weblog.

You can find an earlier version of this page on my old website.