Dr. Chau-Kuang Chen

Committee: International Scientific Committee of Educational and Pedagogical Sciences
University: Meharry Medical College
Department: Institutional Research
Research Fields: disadvantaged community, K-means cluster analysis, PLS path modeling, primary care ,

Publications

2 Using Simulation Modeling Approach to Predict USMLE Steps 1 and 2 Performances

Authors: Chau-Kuang Chen, John Hughes, Jr., A. Dexter Samuels

Abstract:

The prediction models for the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2 performances were constructed by the Monte Carlo simulation modeling approach via linear regression. The purpose of this study was to build robust simulation models to accurately identify the most important predictors and yield the valid range estimations of the Steps 1 and 2 scores. The application of simulation modeling approach was deemed an effective way in predicting student performances on licensure examinations. Also, sensitivity analysis (a/k/a what-if analysis) in the simulation models was used to predict the magnitudes of Steps 1 and 2 affected by changes in the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Basic Science Subject Board scores. In addition, the study results indicated that the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Verbal Reasoning score and Step 1 score were significant predictors of the Step 2 performance. Hence, institutions could screen qualified student applicants for interviews and document the effectiveness of basic science education program based on the simulation results.

Keywords: Sensitivity Analysis, simulation method, prediction model, USMLE

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1 A Study on the Relation among Primary Care Professionals Serving the Disadvantaged Community, Socioeconomic Status, and Adverse Health Outcome

Authors: Chau-Kuang Chen, Juanita Buford, Colette Davis, Raisha Allen, John Hughes, Jr., James Tyus, Dexter Samuels

Abstract:

During the post-Civil War era, the city of Nashville, Tennessee, had the highest mortality rate in the United States. The elevated death and disease rates among former slaves were attributable to lack of quality healthcare. To address the paucity of healthcare services, Meharry Medical College, an institution with the mission of educating minority professionals and serving the underserved population, was established in 1876. Purpose: The social ecological framework and partial least squares (PLS) path modeling were used to quantify the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving the disadvantaged community. Thus, the study results could demonstrate the accomplishment of the College’s mission of training primary care professionals to serve in underserved areas. Methods: Various statistical methods were used to analyze alumni data from 1975 – 2013. K-means cluster analysis was utilized to identify individual medical and dental graduates in the cluster groups of the practice communities (Disadvantaged or Non-disadvantaged Communities). Discriminant analysis was implemented to verify the classification accuracy of cluster analysis. The independent t-test was performed to detect the significant mean differences of respective clustering and criterion variables. Chi-square test was used to test if the proportions of primary care and non-primary care specialists are consistent with those of medical and dental graduates practicing in the designated community clusters. Finally, the PLS path model was constructed to explore the construct validity of analytic model by providing the magnitude effects of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving the disadvantaged community. Results: Approximately 83% (3,192/3,864) of Meharry Medical College’s medical and dental graduates from 1975 to 2013 were practicing in disadvantaged communities. Independent t-test confirmed the content validity of the cluster analysis model. Also, the PLS path modeling demonstrated that alumni served as primary care professionals in communities with significantly lower socioeconomic status and higher adverse health outcome (p < .001). The PLS path modeling exhibited the meaningful interrelation between primary care professionals practicing communities and surrounding environments (socioeconomic statues and adverse health outcome), which yielded model reliability, validity, and applicability. Conclusion: This study applied social ecological theory and analytic modeling approaches to assess the attainment of Meharry Medical College’s mission of training primary care professionals to serve in underserved areas, particularly in communities with low socioeconomic status and high rates of adverse health outcomes. In summary, the majority of medical and dental graduates from Meharry Medical College provided primary care services to disadvantaged communities with low socioeconomic status and high adverse health outcome, which demonstrated that Meharry Medical College has fulfilled its mission. The high reliability, validity, and applicability of this model imply that it could be replicated for comparable universities and colleges elsewhere.

Keywords: Primary Care, disadvantaged community, PLS path modeling, K-means Cluster Analysis

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Abstracts

2 Using Simulation Modeling Approach to Predict USMLE Steps 1 and 2 Performances

Authors: Chau-Kuang Chen, John Hughes, Jr., A. Dexter Samuels

Abstract:

The prediction models for the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2 performances were constructed by the Monte Carlo simulation modeling approach via linear regression. The purpose of this study was to build robust simulation models to accurately identify the most important predictors and yield the valid range estimations of the Steps 1 and 2 scores. The application of simulation modeling approach was deemed an effective way in predicting student performances on licensure examinations. Also, sensitivity analysis (a/k/a what-if analysis) in the simulation models was used to predict the magnitudes of Steps 1 and 2 affected by changes in the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Basic Science Subject Board scores. In addition, the study results indicated that the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Verbal Reasoning score and Step 1 score were significant predictors of the Step 2 performance. Hence, institutions could screen qualified student applicants for interviews and document the effectiveness of basic science education program based on the simulation results.

Keywords: Sensitivity Analysis, simulation method, prediction model, USMLE

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1 A Study on the Relation among Primary Care Professionals Serving Disadvantaged Community, Socioeconomic Status, and Adverse Health Outcome

Authors: Chau-Kuang Chen, Juanita Buford, Colette Davis, Raisha Allen, John Hughes, James Tyus, Dexter Samuels

Abstract:

During the post-Civil War era, the city of Nashville, Tennessee, had the highest mortality rate in the country. The elevated death and disease among ex-slaves were attributable to the unavailability of healthcare. To address the paucity of healthcare services, the College, an institution with the mission of educating minority professionals and serving the under served population, was established in 1876. This study was designed to assess if the College has accomplished its mission of serving under served communities and contributed to the elimination of health disparities in the United States. The study objective was to quantify the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcomes on primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities, which, in turn, was significantly associated with a health professional shortage score partly designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Various statistical methods were used to analyze the alumni data in years 1975 – 2013. K-means cluster analysis was utilized to identify individual medical and dental graduates into the cluster groups of the practice communities (Disadvantaged or Non-disadvantaged Communities). Discriminant analysis was implemented to verify the classification accuracy of cluster analysis. The independent t test was performed to detect the significant mean differences for clustering and criterion variables between Disadvantaged and Non-disadvantaged Communities, which confirms the “content” validity of cluster analysis model. Chi-square test was used to assess if the proportion of cluster groups (Disadvantaged vs Non-disadvantaged Communities) were consistent with that of practicing specialties (primary care vs. non-primary care). Finally, the partial least squares (PLS) path model was constructed to explore the “construct” validity of analytics model by providing the magnitude effects of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving disadvantaged community. The social ecological theory along with statistical models mentioned was used to establish the relationship between medical and dental graduates (primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities) and their social environments (socioeconomic status, adverse health outcome, health professional shortage score). Based on social ecological framework, it was hypothesized that the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcomes on primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities could be quantified. Also, primary care professionals serving disadvantaged communities related to a health professional shortage score can be measured. Adverse health outcome (adult obesity rate, age-adjusted premature mortality rate, and percent of people diagnosed with diabetes) could be affected by the latent variable, namely socioeconomic status (unemployment rate, poverty rate, percent of children who were in free lunch programs, and percent of uninsured adults). The study results indicated that approximately 83% (3,192/3,864) of the College’s medical and dental graduates from 1975 to 2013 were practicing in disadvantaged communities. In addition, the PLS path modeling demonstrated that primary care professionals serving disadvantaged community was significantly associated with socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome (p < .001). In summary, the majority of medical and dental graduates from the College provide primary care services to disadvantaged communities with low socioeconomic status and high adverse health outcomes, which demonstrate that the College has fulfilled its mission.

Keywords: Primary Care, disadvantaged community, K-means cluster analysis, PLS path modeling

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