Dynamic Measurement in Health Professions Education: Rationale, Application, and Possibilities

Denis Dumas*, Daniel McNeish, Deanna Schreiber-Gregory, Steven J. Durning, Dario M. Torre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Dynamic measurement modeling (DMM) is a psychometric paradigm that uses longitudinal data to estimate individual students' growth in measured skills over the course of an educational program (i.e., growth scores). DMM represents a more formal way of assessing learning progress across the health professions education continuum. In this article, the authors provide justification for this approach in health professions education and demonstrate its proof-of-concept use with three time points of United States Medical Licensing Examination Step exams to generate growth scores for 454 current and recent medical learners. The authors demonstrate that learners vary substantially on their growth scores, and those growth scores exhibit psychometric reliability. In addition, growth scores significantly and positively correlated with indicators of medical learner readiness (e.g., undergraduate grade point average and Medical College Admission Test scores). These growth scores were also capable of significantly and positively correlating with future ratings of clinical competencies during internship as assessed through a survey sent to their program directors at the end of the first postgraduate year (e.g., patient care, interpersonal skills). These preliminary findings of reliability and validity for DMM growth scores provide initial evidence for further investigation into the suitability of a dynamic measurement paradigm in health professions education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1328
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


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