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1.  Predictors of Academic Success in a Doctor of Pharmacy Program 
To evaluate the correlation between specific prepharmacy college variables and academic success in the Texas Tech doctor of pharmacy degree program.
Undergraduate and pharmacy school transcripts for 424 students admitted to the Texas Tech doctor of pharmacy degree program between May 1996 and May 2001 were reviewed in August of 2005. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Release 11.5. The undergraduate college variables included prepharmacy grade point-average (GPA), organic chemistry school type (2- or 4-year institution), chemistry, biology, and math courses beyond required prerequisites, and attainment of a bachelor of science (BS), bachelor of arts (BA), or master of science (MS) degree. Measurements of academic success in pharmacy school included cumulative first-professional year (P1) GPA, cumulative GPA (grade point average of all coursework finished to date), and graduation without academic delay or suspension.
Completing advanced biology courses and obtaining a BS degree prior to pharmacy school were each significantly correlated with a higher mean P1 GPA. Furthermore, the mean cumulative GPA of students with a BS degree was 86.4 versus cumulative GPAs of those without a BS degree which were 84.9, respectively (p = 0.039). Matriculates with advanced prerequisite biology coursework or a BS degree prior to pharmacy school were significantly more likely to graduate from the doctor of pharmacy program without academic delay or suspension (p = 0.021 and p = 0.027, respectively). Furthermore, advanced biology coursework was significantly and independently associated with graduating on time (p = 0.044).
Advanced biology coursework and a science baccalaureate degree were significantly associated with academic success in pharmacy school. On multivariate analysis, only advanced biology coursework remained a significant predictor of success.
PMCID: PMC1637008  PMID: 17149435
academic success; pharmacy students; grade point average; graduation; prerequisites; performance
2.  Factors related to medical school application and acceptance in minority summer enrichment program students. 
Baylor College of Medicine has conducted a summer enrichment program for minority/disadvantaged premedical students since 1969. Follow-up data on medical school application and acceptance for participants from 1980 through 1984 were analyzed in relation to selected preprogram variables--cumulative college grade point average, total Scholastic Aptitude Test score, competitiveness of undergraduate college, sex, and ethnicity. Results of univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that: 1) females were significantly less likely to apply to medical school than males, 2) females had significantly lower mean MCAT scores (5.9 vs 7.2) even though their preprogram academic performance was comparable to that of the males, and 3) after controlling for MCAT scores, none of the preprogram variables were significant in predicting medical school acceptance. These findings suggest the need for research to explain the discrepancy between male and female MCAT performance and frequency of medical school application in summer program participants. The findings also have implications for the type of counseling provided to female participants in summer enrichment programs.
PMCID: PMC2627148  PMID: 1920520
3.  To what extent does the Health Professions Admission Test-Ireland predict performance in early undergraduate tests of communication and clinical skills? – An observational cohort study 
BMC Medical Education  2013;13:68.
Internationally, tests of general mental ability are used in the selection of medical students. Examples include the Medical College Admission Test, Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test and the UK Clinical Aptitude Test. The most widely used measure of their efficacy is predictive validity.
A new tool, the Health Professions Admission Test- Ireland (HPAT-Ireland), was introduced in 2009. Traditionally, selection to Irish undergraduate medical schools relied on academic achievement. Since 2009, Irish and EU applicants are selected on a combination of their secondary school academic record (measured predominately by the Leaving Certificate Examination) and HPAT-Ireland score. This is the first study to report on the predictive validity of the HPAT-Ireland for early undergraduate assessments of communication and clinical skills.
Students enrolled at two Irish medical schools in 2009 were followed up for two years. Data collected were gender, HPAT-Ireland total and subsection scores; Leaving Certificate Examination plus HPAT-Ireland combined score, Year 1 Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) scores (Total score, communication and clinical subtest scores), Year 1 Multiple Choice Questions and Year 2 OSCE and subset scores. We report descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation coefficients and Multiple linear regression models.
Data were available for 312 students. In Year 1 none of the selection criteria were significantly related to student OSCE performance. The Leaving Certificate Examination and Leaving Certificate plus HPAT-Ireland combined scores correlated with MCQ marks.
In Year 2 a series of significant correlations emerged between the HPAT-Ireland and subsections thereof with OSCE Communication Z-scores; OSCE Clinical Z-scores; and Total OSCE Z-scores. However on multiple regression only the relationship between Total OSCE Score and the Total HPAT-Ireland score remained significant; albeit the predictive power was modest.
We found that none of our selection criteria strongly predict clinical and communication skills. The HPAT- Ireland appears to measures ability in domains different to those assessed by the Leaving Certificate Examination. While some significant associations did emerge in Year 2 between HPAT Ireland and total OSCE scores further evaluation is required to establish if this pattern continues during the senior years of the medical course.
PMCID: PMC3667098  PMID: 23663266
Selection; Medical; Student; Validity; Predictive; HPAT-Ireland; Assessment; Cognitive; Ability
4.  The impact of nonacademic variables on performance at two medical schools. 
Recent research shows that nonacademic variables must be taken into account when analyzing the indicators of medical student success. However, most previous studies have been limited to a single institution or population. This study investigated the relationship between nonacademic variables and performance at two very different medical schools. The Noncognitive Questionnaire was administered to 104 students at School A (predominantly white and historically oriented toward women) and 102 at School B (predominantly black). Correlation and multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationship among nonacademic variables, undergraduate academic variables (Medical College Admission Test, undergraduate grade point average, and college quality), basic science grades, and US Medical Licensure Exam Step I (USMLE 1) scores. At School A, leadership/decisiveness, expected difficulty, and motivation predicted higher USMLE I scores and higher basic science grades each semester. At School B, expected difficulty was correlated with higher first semester grades only. For School A women, initiative/commitment was positively associated with both higher grades and higher USMLE scores. For black students of School B, expected difficulty was positively associated with higher grades. Identifying school-specific nonacademic variables of performance is critical to developing improved student support services.
PMCID: PMC2608243  PMID: 9094842
5.  Some Factors Affecting Undergraduate Academic Achievement 
A related series of studies, most of which have been published previously, is described. These studies form a coherent whole and demonstrate the development of a theme, namely, the identification of factors in the student and the medical school which, in their interaction, influenced undergraduate academic performance at one medical school. In the population concerned no reliable positive or negative correlation could be demonstrated between cognitive ability and academic performance, when the former was measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Medical College Admission Test, and the latter by the current assessment methods of the medical school. Other factors, including socioeconomic and individual personality variables, are at present under investigation as to their effect on academic achievement. It is emphasized that the results of these studies cannot be regarded as valid for all medical schools, but the methods employed can be generalized.
PMCID: PMC1928562  PMID: 14278025
6.  Some Observations on Attrition of Students from Canadian Medical Schools 
Students who entered their freshman year for the first time in 1958 and in 1959, from all medical schools in Canada, and those entering the four Western schools in 1960 were studied from the time they matriculated until they either graduated or withdrew from medical school. The rate of attrition is about 15% of matriculants each year, with the lowest rate at the University of Western Ontario (1.7%) and the highest at the University of Ottawa (33.6%) over the time period studied. Attrition was classified as academic and non-academic. Significantly higher rates were found in the case of non-academic attrition for women and in the case of academic attrition for Commonwealth students. Significantly higher rates for both types of attrition were found for older students and students who had attended undergraduate colleges different from their medical school colleges. It would appear from available statistics that the factors which combine to produce attrition are the intellectual and personality characteristics of the student, school promotional policies and evaluation methods.
PMCID: PMC1936080  PMID: 6019678
7.  Nepalese Pharmacy Students' Perceptions Regarding Mental Disorders and Pharmacy Education 
To determine Nepalese pharmacy students' perceptions of whether mental disorders impact performance in pharmacy school.
All first- and third-year undergraduate pharmacy students (n=226) in Nepal were invited to complete a modified version of the Mental Illness Performance Scale.
Among the 200 respondents (response rate 88.5%), 14% reported that they had a mental disorder. The majority (92%) of third-year students agreed or strongly agreed that depression would interfere with a student's academic performance. Almost half of first-year students agreed or strongly agreed that alcohol or drug abuse would be grounds for both rejecting an applicant from pharmacy school (49%) and dismissal of a student from pharmacy school (46%).
Students perceived a high level of academic impairment associated with mental disorders, but the majority did not perceive that mental disorders were grounds for dismissal from or rejection of entry to pharmacy school. Students' attitudes may discourage them from seeking help or providing mental health support to others.
PMCID: PMC2907854  PMID: 20798796
attitude of health personnel; mental disorders; pharmacy students; mental health
8.  Students' perceptions of learning environment in an Indian medical school 
Learning environment in any medical school is found to be important in determining students' academic success. This study was undertaken to compare the perceptions of first year and clinical phase students regarding the learning environment at Melaka Manipal Medical College (MMMC) (Manipal Campus) and also to identify the gender wise differences in their perceptions.
In the present study, the Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM) inventory was used. DREEM was originally developed at Dundee and has been validated as a universal diagnostic inventory for assessing the quality of educational environment. In the present study, DREEM was administered to undergraduate medical students of first year (n = 118) and clinical phase (n = 108) and the scores were compared using a nonparametric test.
Among the two batches, first year students were found to be more satisfied with the learning environment at MMMC (as indicated by their higher DREEM score) compared to the clinical batch students. Gender wise, there was not much difference in the students' perceptions.
The present study revealed that both groups of students perceived the learning environment positively. Nevertheless, the study also revealed problematic areas of learning environment in our medical school which enabled us to adopt some remedial measures.
PMCID: PMC2329622  PMID: 18402710
9.  Predictors of Preclinical and Clinical Performance of Minority Medical Students 
Although several studies have examined the relationship between minority students' admissions profiles and performance in the preclinical curriculum, there is a dearth of information about the ability of admissions variables to predict performance in the clerkships and on National Boards, Part II. Consistent with other research, a study of 59 minority students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT) chemistry score is the most consistent predictor of performance on internal examinations in years 1 and 2, and on National Boards, Part I. On the Part II examination, however, the only significant correlation is with the MCAT reading score, while the MCAT quantitative score and the recommendation of the premedical advisor are the best predictors of clerkship grades. Since students' mean MCATs and grade point averages (GPAs) are similar to those of all minority students accepted to medical schools in 1982, these findings may be generalized to that larger population.
PMCID: PMC2571388  PMID: 3746929
10.  Substance use and its predictors among undergraduate medical students of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:660.
Substance use remains high among Ethiopian youth and young adolescents particularly in high schools and colleges. The use of alcohol, khat and tobacco by college and university students can be harmful; leading to decreased academic performance, increased risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. However, the magnitude of substance use and the factors associated with it has not been investigated among medical students in the country. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of substance use and identify factors that influenced the behavior among undergraduate medical students of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study using a pre-tested structured self-administered quantitative questionnaire was conducted in June 2009 among 622 medical students (Year I to Internship program) at the School of Medicine. The data were entered into Epi Info version 6.04d and analyzed using SPSS version 15 software program. Descriptive statistics were used for data summarization and presentation. Differences in proportions were compared for significance using Chi Square test, with significance level set at p < 0.05. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess the magnitude of associations between substance use and socio-demographic and behavioral correlates.
In the last 12 months, alcohol was consumed by 22% (25% males vs. 14% females, p = 0.002) and khat use was reported by 7% (9% males vs. 1.5% females, p < 0.001) of the students. About 9% of the respondents (10.6% males vs. 4.6% females, p = 0.014) reported ever use of cigarette smoking, and 1.8% were found to be current smokers. Using multiple logistic regression models, being male was strongly associated with alcohol use in the last 12 months (adjusted OR = 2.14, 95% CI = 1.22-3.76). Students whose friends currently consume alcohol were more likely to consume alcohol (adjusted OR = 2.47, 95% CI = 1.50-4.08) and whose friends' use tobacco more likely to smoke (adjusted OR = 3.89, 95% CI = 1.83-8.30). Khat use within the past 12 months was strongly and positively associated with alcohol consumption (adjusted OR = 15.11, 95% CI = 4.24-53.91). Similarly, ever use of cigarette was also significantly associated with alcohol consumption (adjusted OR = 8.65, 95% CI = 3.48-21.50).
Concordant use of alcohol, khat and tobacco is observed and exposure to friends' use of substances is often implicated. Alcohol consumption or khat use has been significantly associated with tobacco use. While the findings of this study suggest that substance use among the medical students was not alarming, but its trend increased among students from Year I to Internship program. The university must be vigilant in monitoring and educating the students about the consequences of substance use.
PMCID: PMC3170623  PMID: 21859483
11.  Perceptions of the educational environment of a new medical school, Saudi Arabia 
Educational environment hugely impacts the learning process. An assessment of perceptions of students about the educational environment at Qassim University College of Medicine (QUCOM) would assist educators and college administration in gauging the quality of the learning in this venue. The aim of this study is to see the educational environment of an innovative undergraduate medical program through the eyes of students.
During the academic year 2011/2012, a survey was performed at QUCOM using the Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM) questionnaire. All undergraduate students participated in the survey. Comparisons between, students’ responses according to their study years in the college and gender were taken into consideration. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 17.0. The scores assigned by the students to questionnaire items were converted into and continuous variables and summarized as means.
Out of 467 students enrolled at QUCOM 454 students (61% males and 39% females)participated in the study (response rate of 97%). The mean age of the participants was 21.4 (standard deviation: 2.2). The mean total score was 112, out of a possible maximum of 200. The mean total score for Perception of Learning was 26/48; for Perceptions of Teaching 25/44; for Academic Self perceptions 20/32; for Perceptions of Atmosphere 26/48 and for Social Self Perceptions 15/28. The mean score of 1.13 for Item 3 “There is a good support system for students who get stressed” was the lowest and is indicative of the pressures felt by the students. While the mean score of 3.24 for Item 15 “I have good friends in this school” was the highest showing good relationship between students. There were no significant differences of perceptions between genders and between basic sciences and clinical phases.
Students perceive the educational environment at QUCOM as having more positives than negatives. Certain areas need further exploration and improvements, which should serve as a decision support mechanism for educationists at QUCOM in rationalizing their priorities for reforms.
PMCID: PMC3883605  PMID: 24421744
Educational climate; Educational environment; Medical culture; Medical education
12.  Predictors of Nonmedical ADHD Medication Use by College Students 
Journal of attention disorders  2009;13(6):10.1177/1087054709334505.
To identify the predictors of nonmedical ADHD medication use by college students.
Eight hundred forty-three undergraduates attending one public or one private university in the southeastern US.
Students completed a web-based survey inquiring about ADHD medication use during the first semester freshman of their year and a second time during the second semester of their sophomore year.
Forty-five (5.3%) reported the onset of nonmedical ADHD use between the two survey administrations. The majority of these students were high substance users as freshman. Attention difficulties also predicted the onset of nonmedical use, especially in the absence of excessive substance use. Compared to other nonmedical users of ADHD medication, those reporting attention difficulties had lower GPAs, greater academic concerns, and higher levels of depressive symptoms.
Attention difficulties contribute to the onset of nonmedical ADHD medication use in a significant minority of nonmedical users. These students may begin using ADHD medication to address attention problems they experience as undermining their academic success.
PMCID: PMC3837450  PMID: 19465730
13.  Emotional intelligence and academic performance in first and final year medical students: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Medical Education  2013;13:44.
Research on emotional intelligence (EI) suggests that it is associated with more pro-social behavior, better academic performance and improved empathy towards patients. In medical education and clinical practice, EI has been related to higher academic achievement and improved doctor-patient relationships. This study examined the effect of EI on academic performance in first- and final-year medical students in Malaysia.
This was a cross-sectional study using an objectively-scored measure of EI, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Academic performance of medical school students was measured using continuous assessment (CA) and final examination (FE) results. The first- and final-year students were invited to participate during their second semester. Students answered a paper-based demographic questionnaire and completed the online MSCEIT on their own. Relationships between the total MSCEIT score to academic performance were examined using multivariate analyses.
A total of 163 (84 year one and 79 year five) medical students participated (response rate of 66.0%). The gender and ethnic distribution were representative of the student population. The total EI score was a predictor of good overall CA (OR 1.01), a negative predictor of poor result in overall CA (OR 0.97), a predictor of the good overall FE result (OR 1.07) and was significantly related to the final-year FE marks (adjusted R2 = 0.43).
Medical students who were more emotionally intelligent performed better in both the continuous assessments and the final professional examination. Therefore, it is possible that emotional skill development may enhance medical students’ academic performance.
PMCID: PMC3617036  PMID: 23537129
Emotional intelligence; Educational assessments; Achievement; Medical students
14.  Stress and Its Effects on Medical Students: A Cross-sectional Study at a College of Medicine in Saudi Arabia 
Medical education is perceived as being stressful, and a high level of stress may have a negative effect on cognitive functioning and learning of students in a medical school. This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of stress among medical students and to observe an association between the levels of stress and their academic performance, including the sources of their stress. All the medical students from year one to year five levels from the College of Medicine, King Saud University, were enrolled in the study. The study was conducted using Kessler10 psychological distress (K10) inventory, which measures the level of stress according to none, mild, moderate, and severe categories. The prevalence of stress was measured and compared with the five study variables, such as gender, academic year, academic grades, regularity to course attendance, and perceived physical problems. The response rate among the study subjects was 87% (n=892). The total prevalence of stress was 63%, and the prevalence of severe stress was 25%. The prevalence of stress was higher (p<0.5) among females (75.7%) than among males (57%) (odds ratio=2.3, χ2=27.2, p<0.0001). The stress significantly decreased as the year of study increased, except for the final year. The study variables, including being female (p<0.0001), year of study (p<0.001), and presence of perceived physical problems (p<0.0001), were found as independent significant risk factors for the outcome variables of stress. Students' grade point average (academic score) or regularity to attend classes was not significantly associated with the stress level. The prevalence of stress was higher during the initial three years of study and among the female students. Physical problems are associated with high stress levels. Preventive mental health services, therefore, could be made an integral part of routine clinical services for medical students, especially in the initial academic years, to prevent such occurrence.
PMCID: PMC3225114  PMID: 22106758
Academic achievements; Cross-sectional studies; Impact studies; Medical education; Stress; Saudi Arabia
15.  Improving Underrepresented Minority Medical Student Recruitment with Health Disparities Curriculum 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2010;25(Suppl 2):82-85.
Diversity improves all students’ academic experiences and their abilities to work with patients from differing backgrounds. Little is known about what makes minority students select one medical school over another.
To measure the impact of the existence of a health disparities course in the medical school curriculum on recruitment of underrepresented minority (URM) college students to the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
All medical school applicants interviewed in academic years 2007 and 2008 at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (PSOM) attended an orientation that detailed a required health care disparities curriculum introduced in 2006. Matriculants completed a precourse survey measuring the impact of the existence of the course on their decision to attend PSOM. URM was defined by the American Association of Medical Colleges as Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Mexican American, and Mainland Puerto Rican.
Precourse survey responses were 100% and 96% for entering classes of 2007 and 2008, respectively. Among those students reporting knowledge of the course (128/210, 61%), URM students (27/37, 73%) were more likely than non-URM students (38/91, 42%) to report that knowledge of the existence of the course influenced their decision to attend PSOM (p = 0.002). Analysis of qualitative responses revealed that students felt that the curriculum gave the school a reputation for placing importance on health disparities and social justice issues. URM student enrollment at PSOM, which had remained stable from years 2005 and 2006 at 12% and 11% of the total incoming classes, respectively, increased to 22% of the total class size in 2007 (p = 0.03) and 19 percent in 2008.
The required health disparities course may have contributed to the increased enrollment of URM students at PSOM in 2007 and 2008.
PMCID: PMC2847120  PMID: 20352498
health disparities; curriculum; education; medical students; underserved
16.  Traditional Admissions Variables as Predictors of Minority Students' Performance in Medical School — A Cause for Concern 
This study explored the relationship between traditional admissions criteria, performance in the first semester of medical school, and performance on the National Board of Medical Examiners' (NBME) Examination, Part 1 for minority medical students, non-minority medical students, and the two groups combined. Correlational analysis and step-wise multiple regression procedures were used as the analysis techniques. A different pattern of admissions variables related to National Board Part 1 performance for the two groups. The General Information section of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) contributed the most variance for the minority student group. MCAT-Science contributed the most variance for the non-minority student group. MCATs accounted for a substantial portion of the variance on the National Board examination.
PMCID: PMC2609621  PMID: 904005
17.  Predictors of Performance of Minority Students in the First Two Years of a BA/MD Program 
This study examines cognitive and noncognitive selection variables as predictors of multiple criteria of performance for minority and nonminority students entering the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine between 1972 and 1977. Data analysis aims at identifying characteristics associated with success in the crucial first two years of the combined BA/MD program. Pearson product moment correlations and multiple regression equations have been determined for all selection variables and three criteria measures. A number of nontraditional variables are significantly predictive of minority student performance. The cognitive variables of aptitude test and high school science/mathematics preparation are significant predictors of all three performance measures in both racial groups. The data support the position that separate equations are not necessary to predict performance of minority and nonminority students, but that admission committees, when selecting minority students, should recognize both personal attributes and academic preparation as indicators of potential success or failure.
PMCID: PMC2552906  PMID: 7120493
18.  Psychological morbidity, sources of stress and coping strategies among undergraduate medical students of Nepal 
In recent years there has been a growing appreciation of the issues of quality of life and stresses involved medical training as this may affect their learning and academic performance. However, such studies are lacking in medical schools of Nepal. Therefore, we carried out this study to assess the prevalence of psychological morbidity, sources and severity of stress and coping strategies among medical students in our integrated problem-stimulated undergraduate medical curriculum.
A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey was carried out among the undergraduate medical students of Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal during the time period August, 2005 to December, 2006. The psychological morbidity was assessed using General Health Questionnaire. A 24-item questionnaire was used to assess sources of stress and their severity. Coping strategies adopted was assessed using brief COPE inventory.
The overall response rate was 75.8% (407 out of 525 students). The overall prevalence of psychological morbidity was 20.9% and was higher among students of basic sciences, Indian nationality and whose parents were medical doctors. By logistic regression analysis, GHQ-caseness was associated with occurrence of academic and health-related stressors. The most common sources of stress were related to academic and psychosocial concerns. The most important and severe sources of stress were staying in hostel, high parental expectations, vastness of syllabus, tests/exams, lack of time and facilities for entertainment. The students generally used active coping strategies and alcohol/drug was a least used coping strategy. The coping strategies commonly used by students in our institution were positive reframing, planning, acceptance, active coping, self-distraction and emotional support. The coping strategies showed variation by GHQ-caseness, year of study, gender and parents' occupation.
The higher level of psychological morbidity warrants need for interventions like social and psychological support to improve the quality of life for these medical students. Student advisors and counselors may train students about stress management. There is also need to bring about academic changes in quality of teaching and evaluation system. A prospective study is necessary to study the association of psychological morbidity with demographic variables, sources of stress and coping strategies.
PMCID: PMC1951961  PMID: 17678553
19.  Academic outreach: health careers enhancement program for minorities. 
This article describes the 6-week Health Careers Enhancement Program for Minorities inaugurated in the summer of 1988 at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The program was developed for minority and economically disadvantaged college undergraduates and postbaccalaureate premedical students. Its major objectives were to stimulate and maintain the interest of minority students in health careers and prepare these students for entry into health professions and for successful completion of these programs. A unique aspect of the program was academic outreach. Case Western Reserve University minority alumni and community minority physicians participated as clinical role models, mentors, and teachers; community and state minority leaders served as inspirational speakers and role models. The program was designed not only to incorporate cognitive and skill development activities, but to also include features distinctive to the Case Western Reserve University curriculum, specifically, organ system teaching, preceptor groups, medical apprenticeship program, and student tutors.
PMCID: PMC2571527  PMID: 2280430
20.  Debiasing the hidden curriculum 
Canadian Family Physician  2011;57(1):e26-e30.
To compare the academic performance of students who entered family medicine residency programs with that of students who entered other disciplines and discern whether or not family physicians are as academically talented as their colleagues in other specialties.
Retrospective quantitative study.
University of Calgary in Alberta.
Three graduating classes of students (2004 to 2006) from the University of Calgary medical school.
Main outcome measures
Student performance on various undergraduate certifying examinations in years 1, 2, and 3, along with third-year in-training evaluation reports and total score on the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I.
Complete data were available for 99% of graduates (N = 295). In the analysis, residency program (family medicine [n = 96] versus non–family medicine [n = 199]) served as the independent variable. Using a 1-way multivariate ANOVA (analysis of variance), no significant difference among any of the mean performance scores was observed (F5289 = 1.73, P > .05). Students who entered family medicine were also well represented within the top 10 rankings of the various performance measures.
The academic performance of students who pursued careers in family medicine did not differ from that of students who chose other specialties. Unfounded negativity toward family medicine has important societal implications, especially at a time when the gap between the number of family physicians and patients seeking primary care services appears to be widening.
PMCID: PMC3024184  PMID: 21252122
21.  Differences in medical students' attitudes to academic misconduct and reported behaviour across the years—a questionnaire study 
Journal of Medical Ethics  2003;29(2):97-102.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine attitudinal and self reported behavioural variations between medical students in different years to scenarios involving academic misconduct.
Design: A cross-sectional study where students were given an anonymous questionnaire that asked about their attitudes to 14 scenarios describing a fictitious student engaging in acts of academic misconduct and asked them to report their own potential behaviour.
Setting: Dundee Medical School.
Participants: Undergraduate medical students from all five years of the course.
Method: Questionnaire survey.
Main measurements: Differences in medical students' attitudes to the 14 scenarios and their reported potential behaviour with regards to the scenarios in each of the years.
Results: For most of the scenarios there was no significant difference in the response between the years. Significant differences in the responses were found for some of the scenarios across the years, where a larger proportion of year one students regarded the scenario as wrong and would not engage in the behaviour, compared to other years. These scenarios included forging signatures, resubmitting work already completed for another part of the course, and falsifying patient information.
Conclusion: Observed differences between the years for some scenarios may reflect a change in students' attitudes and behaviour as they progress though the course. The results may be influenced by the educational experience of the students, both in terms of the learning environment and assessment methods used. These differences may draw attention to the potential but unintentional pressures placed on medical students to engage in academic misconduct. The importance of developing strategies to engender appropriate attitudes and behaviours at the undergraduate level must be recognised.
PMCID: PMC1733713  PMID: 12672890
22.  Effects of a Summer Preview Program of Study Skills and Basic Science Topics on the Academic Performance of Minority Students 
A summer preview program was designed to enhance the academic performance of minority students in medical school. In the five-week program the students met from 8:00 AM to noon, five days a week. The two components of the program were study skills and selected basic science topics deemed critical for success in the first year.
This paper is an analysis of three years (1980 to 1982 inclusive) of the program. Only three of the 14 participating minority students failed to complete the requirements of the first year of the curriculum. In contrast, nine of the 11 nonparticipating minority students did not complete the requirements for the first year. The conclusion is that the program can enhance the academic performance of minority students in the first year of the medical school curriculum.
PMCID: PMC2571160  PMID: 4020890
23.  Effect of body mass index on physical self concept, cognition & academic performance of first year medical students 
Background & objectives:
The relationship between obesity and self perception, particularly in children and young adults has important implications for physical and psychosocial health and well-being. A better understanding of this relationship could help target psychology services and public health strategies more effectively. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of body mass index (BMI) on physical self concept and cognition of the first year medical undergraduate students in a medical college in north India. The relationship between physical self concept and academic performance and presence of any gender differences were also examined.
The study was carried out on 18-21 yr old first year M.B.B.S. students of Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India. Physical self concept was assessed using short version of Physical Self Description Questionnaire (PSDQ-S) which is a psychometrically strong instrument for measuring multiple dimensions of physical self-concept. Cognition was assessed by P300 evoked potentials and academic performance was evaluated on the basis of marks obtained in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry subjects.
There was no association between BMI and physical self-concept or between BMI and cognition. Gender differences on physical self-concept were also insignificant. No correlation was seen between physical self-concept and academic performance.
Interpretation & conclusion:
The present results suggest that negative consequences of high body mass index on physical self-concept and cognition are not seen in young adults. It may be that academic achievement nullifies the effect on physical self-concept and the effect on cognition accumulates as the age progresses, therefore, appears later in life.
PMCID: PMC3868064  PMID: 24434258
Academic performance; body mass index; cognition; PSDQ-S
24.  Predicting the “strugglers”: a case-control study of students at Nottingham University Medical School 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2006;332(7548):1009-1013.
Objective To identify potential predictors of undergraduate students who struggle during their medical training.
Design Case-control study. Cases were students who had experienced academic or personal difficulties that affected their progression on the course (“strugglers”). Controls were selected at random from the corresponding year cohorts, using a ratio of four controls for each struggler.
Setting University of Nottingham Medical School.
Participants Students who entered the course over five consecutive years.
Main outcome measures Likelihood ratios for independent risk factors for struggling on the course
Results 10-15% of each year's student intake were identified as strugglers. Significant independent predictors of students being in this category were negative comments in the academic reference (likelihood ratio 2.25, 95% confidence intervals 1.44 to 3.50), lower mean examination grade at A level (2.19, 1.37 to 3.51), and the late offer of a place (1.98, 1.19 to 3.30). Male sex was a less significant risk factor (1.70, 1.09 to 2.65) as was a lower grade at GCSE science (2.13, 1.12 to 4.05). In UK students whose ethnicity was known, not being white was a significant predictor of struggling (2.77, 1.52 to 5.05) but the presence of negative comments was not. Age at entry to the course and the possession of a previous degree were not predictive.
Conclusions Our results support retention of existing selection practices relating to academic achievement and critical review of students' references. We plan to undertake further investigation of the reasons why some students, including men, those with late offers and those from ethnic minority backgrounds, may do less well on the Nottingham course.
PMCID: PMC1450046  PMID: 16543299
25.  Admission selection criteria as predictors of outcomes in an undergraduate medical course: A prospective study 
Medical Teacher  2011;33(12):997-1004.
In 1998, a new selection process which utilised an aptitude test and an interview in addition to previous academic achievement was introduced into an Australian undergraduate medical course.
To test the outcomes of the selection criteria over an 11-year period.
1174 students who entered the course from secondary school and who enrolled in the MBBS from 1999 through 2009 were studied in relation to specific course outcomes. Regression analyses using entry scores, sex and age as independent variables were tested for their relative value in predicting subsequent academic performance in the 6-year course. The main outcome measures were assessed by weighted average mark for each academic year level; together with results in specific units, defined as either ‘knowledge'-based or ‘clinically’ based.
Previous academic performance and female sex were the major independent positive predictors of performance in the course. The interview score showed positive predictive power during the latter years of the course and in a range of ‘clinically' based units. This relationship was mediated predominantly by the score for communication skills.
Results support combining prior academic achievement with the assessment of communication skills in a structured interview as selection criteria into this undergraduate medical course.
PMCID: PMC3267525  PMID: 21592024

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