A study of the career decisions of all students in a single matriculation cohort was undertaken in 1965 at the University of British Columbia. Studied were 64 premedical students, 112 ex-premedical students and 87 science students who had completed at least their second year. It was found by means of a questionnaire that medicine remained the career of high prestige for the three groups of students. In general the values and needs of the ex-premedical student were more similar to those of the science student than the premedical student. The loyalists to medicine were found to be more committed, self-assured, and orientated towards people and service. In addition, the premedical student was more concerned about his academic achievement but was also more confident of his progress. He emerged at the end of his training as the committed student who had chosen medicine at an early age and had remained loyal to his chosen career goal.
Since September 1961, a prospective study of premedical and science students has been conducted at the University of British Columbia. On completion of their sophomore year, after a year of changes from one group to another or withdrawal from either group, only 82 students existed in the diminished Premedical cohort while 137 students existed in the augmented Science cohort. These two groups have now become similar demographically, and their academic potential, as indicated by achievement and ability tests, has also become similar in terms of their mean test scores. In academic performance the present Premedical cohort has displayed some superiority over the Science cohort in high school, freshman and sophomore years. The sophomore premedical mean grade was 66.0% compared with 63.7% for the Science cohort. The hypothesis is developed that these findings reflect a difference in motivation, and therefore that perception of ultimate career goals will motivate and affect academic performance of students in their undergraduate years.
First-year premedical students' understanding of Nature of Science (NOS) improved over one academic year. Those who participated in a nonfiction book club as a curricular option showed better understanding of NOS than students who did not participate. Pre- and postcourse surveys and course documents suggest that book club may attract students with higher NOS status and further improve it.
The leap from science student to scientist involves recognizing that science is a tentative, evolving body of knowledge that is socially constructed and culturally influenced; this is known as The Nature of Science (NOS). The aim of this study was to document NOS growth in first-year premedical students who participated in a science book club as a curricular option. The club read three acclaimed nonfiction works that connect biology to medicine via the history of scientific ideas. Students’ NOS status was assessed as informed, transitional, or naïve at the beginning and end of the academic year using the Views of Nature of Science Questionnaire–Form C (VNOS-C). Focus group interviews and document analysis of assignments and exams provided qualitative evidence. VNOS-C scores improved over the academic year regardless of book club participation. Students who participated in book club had marginally better NOS status at the end of the year but also at the beginning, suggesting that book club may have attracted rather than produced students with higher NOS status. It is notable that an improvement in NOS understanding could be detected at all, as there have been few reports of NOS growth in the literature in which NOS was not an explicit topic of instruction.
To better understand the consequences of the premedical years for the character of (future) physicians by critically reviewing the empirical research done on the undergraduate premedical experience in the United States.
We searched ERIC, JSTOR, PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, and PsycINFO from the earliest available date for empirical, peer-reviewed studies of premedical students in the United States. We then used qualitative methods to uncover overall themes present in this literature.
The initial literature search identified 1,168 articles, 19 of which were included for review. Reviewed articles were published between 1976 and 2010 with the majority published prior to 1990. Articles covered two broad topics: explaining attrition from the premedical track, and investigating the personality traits and stereotypes of premedical students. Self-selection bias and high attrition rates were among the limitations of the reviewed articles.
There is very little current research on the premedical experience. Given the importance of the premedical years on the process of becoming a medical professional, it is imperative that we do more and better research on how the premedical experience shapes future physicians.
Premedical education; premedical syndrome; attrition from premedical track; hidden curriculum; professionalization
This study compared the retention in medical career pathways of students enrolled in a combined baccalaureate-medical degree program to traditional premedical students at Brown University. Whereas 84% of the combined-degree students went on to medical school, only 36% of the traditional premedical students did. Among underrepresented minority students, the proportions were 74% and 39%, respectively. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores accounted for some of the difference, yet even when SAT scores were controlled using a multiple logistic regression model, students enrolled in the combined-degree program were more than eight times as likely to continue in a medical career pathway.
The premedical academic records of the 1965-66 entering class of Canadian medical students were analysed. Ninety-six per cent of the class had taken their preparation in a Canadian institution, while 80% had taken it in the same university as the medical school in which they enrolled. Forty per cent entered without a degree, the remainder having at least a bachelor's degree in arts or science.
Thirty-six per cent of all courses taken by these students in their premedical education were in the physical sciences, 22% in the biological sciences and 41% in the social sciences and humanities. One-third of the students had taken no course in the behavioural sciences and another third had taken only one course.
Analysis of the level of performance of the entering class showed that 10% had obtained an A average, 49% a B average, 41% a C average and 3% a D average. The grades of these students were higher generally in the natural sciences than in the social sciences or humanities.
It was concluded that it could be questioned whether medical students received a premedical preparation which met the philosophy of a “broad, liberal education”.
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.
The performance of medical students enrolled at the University of British Columbia from 1952 to 1961 is reviewed and related to certain descriptive factors available to the screening committee at the time of application. Almost 40% of enrolled students had academic difficulty in medical school; 16.4% failed a complete year. Since 91% of students who failed out, did so after freshman medicine examinations, these grades were examined for significant association with certain intellectual and non-intellectural factors. Sex and year of registration were not significantly associated with freshman performance, but permanent home address was: students from other Commonwealth countries did not perform as well as Canadians. Significant correlations were observed between both pre-medical grades and Medical College Admission Test scores and first-year medicine marks. By multiple regression analysis four factors were found to be predictive: age, number of pre-medical years completed at the time of application, overall pre-medical grade average and “Science” M.C.A.T. score. From the resulting equation, 77.4% of the grades of medical students who completed their freshman year in 1962 were predicted within one standard error. Students on the whole were noted to perform consistently in pre-medicine and medicine.
The topic scope and sequence of introductory majors and general education (GE) biology texts correlate with Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) topic importance ratings. GE texts have higher MCAT term densities than introductory majors texts. Indirect impact of the MCAT on GE texts may detract from scientific literacy goals of GE courses.
Most American colleges and universities offer gateway biology courses to meet the needs of three undergraduate audiences: biology and related science majors, many of whom will become biomedical researchers; premedical students meeting medical school requirements and preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT); and students completing general education (GE) graduation requirements. Biology textbooks for these three audiences present a topic scope and sequence that correlates with the topic scope and importance ratings of the biology content specifications for the MCAT regardless of the intended audience. Texts for “nonmajors,” GE courses appear derived directly from their publisher's majors text. Topic scope and sequence of GE texts reflect those of “their” majors text and, indirectly, the MCAT. MCAT term density of GE texts equals or exceeds that of their corresponding majors text. Most American universities require a GE curriculum to promote a core level of academic understanding among their graduates. This includes civic scientific literacy, recognized as an essential competence for the development of public policies in an increasingly scientific and technological world. Deriving GE biology and related science texts from majors texts designed to meet very different learning objectives may defeat the scientific literacy goals of most schools’ GE curricula.
In 1954 the first class in medicine graduated from the University of British Columbia. This class of 57 men and three women left a statistical trail behind them which began before they entered medical school, and which now has extended 10 years into their professional postgraduate careers. This first class was made up largely of British Columbians of older age than subsequent classes. The overall achievement and aptitude of the class was high, as measured by premedical grades, intelligence tests and Medical College Admission Test scores. Interest tests at the time of admission indicated that the members of the class had major interest levels in the fields of science and social service or humanitarianism. The subsequent medical school performance of the class was exceptional. Of the class, 63.4% interned in teaching hospitals. By 1964 only 53.4% of the graduates were engaged in general practice. Most of the graduates are now practising in British Columbia.
Previous research has documented that negative experiences in chemistry courses are a major factor that discourages many students from continuing in premedical studies. This adverse impact affects women and students from under-represented minority (URM) groups disproportionately. To determine if chemistry courses have a similar effect at a large public university, we surveyed 1,036 students from three entering cohorts at the University of California, Berkeley. We surveyed students at the beginning of their first year at the university and again at the end of their second year. All subjects had indicated an interest in premedical studies at the time they entered the university. We conducted follow-up interviews with a stratified sub-set of 63 survey respondents to explore the factors that affected their level of interest in premedical studies. Using a 10-point scale, we found that the strength of interest in premedical studies declined for all racial/ethnic groups. In the follow-up interviews, students identified chemistry courses as the principal factor contributing to their reported loss of interest. URM students especially often stated that chemistry courses caused them to abandon their hopes of becoming a physician. Consistent with reports over more than 50 years, it appears that undergraduate courses in chemistry have the effect of discouraging otherwise qualified students, as reflected in their admission to one of the most highly selective public universities in the US, from continuing in premedical studies, especially in the case of URM students. Reassessment of this role for chemistry courses may be overdue.
Chemistry; Diversity; Ethnicity; Medical education; Minorities; Premedical education; Science education; Race
Personality traits are major effective factors on student’s learning, educational achievements and employer’s job satisfaction. Metacognitive characteristics such as personality are only changeable up to 30% in the best educational condition. Therefore, students should be evaluated for such characteristics including their personality compatibility with their major. The present study investigated the personality compatibility of freshman undergraduate nursing students of the Kerman University of Medical Sciences in 2008 with nursing profession.
This was a descriptive study using a standard questionnaire based on Holland’s career and personality theory on 82 freshman nursing students of Kerman University of Medical Sciences in 2008. Data were analyzed using SPSS software.
More than 50% of the participants evaluated their information of nursing profession average. The personality of 41.3% was not compatible with nursing profession and the personality of 26.2% was relatively compatible. Only 32.5% of the participants had completely compatible personalities with this profession.
Considering the limitations of the present study and previous studies, further studies are recommended. It seems that students’ knowledge of majors and careers are increasing, but it is necessary to plan and make more effort to recognize personal characteristics and personality compatibility with professions. Knowledge of professions and personalities along with each other are valuable and neglecting one would be an obstacle to achieve goals including decreasing job resignation, increasing job efficiency and satisfaction.
Personality; nursing students; professional role
A follow-up survey of 1,087 physicians who had graduated from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine from 1951 through 1971 was completed in 1977. A total of 307 (28.2 percent) of these persons were found to have left California. Comparison of the 307 who left with the 780 who remained showed only slight and statistically insignificant differences on most variables, such as sex, academic performance in premedical and medical education, educational level and social class of parents, age at entry into medical school, ratings by admissions interviewers, choice of specialty and a wide variety of personality inventory measures. Among the variables that did differentiate were place of birth, location and prestige of premedical college, preferences for subjects in the sciences and the humanities, and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores for quantitative ability and general information. However, attempts to combine these individual differentiators into clusters or equations from which to forecast emigration from California were unsuccessful.
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.
During the decade 1952-1961, 2060 students applied for admission to the University of B.C. medical school. Only 1664 fulfilled the pre-medical requirements. This cluster of eligible applicants changed in size and characteristics as the medical school grew older; in general, the academic calibre of applicant cohorts improved as mean age fell and length of pre-medical training increased. A decline in the number of British Columbia applicants was to some extent balanced by an increase in other applicants.
Forty-three per cent of eligible applicants were accepted by the screening committee. In contrast to the applicant cluster, freshman classes contained a disproportionate number of B.C. residents. Acceptance, however, was strongly correlated with good pre-medical academic performance and all M.C.A.T. scores except those for “Understanding Modern Society”. Unfortunately, one-quarter of all accepted students withdrew before registration and had to be replaced.
These observations are interpreted in terms of student recruitment and the efficiency of the screening committee.
Student admission into the College of Medicine at King Saud University (KSU) is dependent on the achievement of a grade point average (GPA) of ≥3.5 /5 by the end of the premedical year. This study was undertaken to ascertain whether pre-selected medical students who achieve a relatively low GPA (≤3.75/5) in the premedical year are at risk of having academic difficulties in subsequent years.
A cross-sectional study of all students admitted to the College of Medicine at KSU during 5 academic years (1994 to 1998) was conducted in 2004. The likelihood of completing the program by 2004 and the dropout frequency were compared in the two groups based on their GPA in the premedical year: High GPA (>3.75) and Low GPA (≤3.75).
During the study period, 739 students were admitted to the college. Of these, 619 (84%) were in High GPA group, and 120 (16%) in the Low GPA group. Of the students with High GPA, 545 (88%) out of 619 graduated compared with 79 (66%) of 120 in the Low GPA group (OR 3.822 [95% CI: 2.44, 5.99]: P<0.0001). Overall, 28 students (3.8%) dropped out, but there was a significantly greater frequency of dropping out in the Low GPA group (10/120; 8.3%) compared with the High GPA group (18/619; 2.9%: OR 3.035 [95% CI: 1.37, 6.75], P=0.01).
Our results support the prerequisite of a minimum GPA in the premedical year before proceeding to the higher levels. The GPA of premedical year is a useful predictor of students who need close monitoring and academic support. The use of GPA in the premedical year for admission into medical colleges should help optimize the use of resources and reduce student wastage.
Medical student selection; GPA; Pre-medical year; drop-out; academic performance
To assess the factors, motivations, and nonacademic influences that affected the choice of major among pharmacy and nonpharmacy undergraduate students.
A survey was administered to 618 pharmacy and nonpharmacy majors to assess background and motivational factors that may have influenced their choice of major. The sample consisted of freshman and sophomore students enrolled in a required speech course.
African-American and Hispanic students were less likely to choose pharmacy as a major than Caucasians, whereas Asian-Americans were more likely to choose pharmacy as a major. Pharmacy students were more likely to be interested in science and math than nonpharmacy students.
Students' self-reported racial/ethnic backgrounds influence their decision of whether to choose pharmacy as their academic major. Results of this survey provide further insight into developing effective recruiting strategies and enhancing the marketing efforts of academic institutions.
major field of study; career; motivating factors; pharmacy students; race/ethnicity; African-American; Asian-American; Hispanic
If minority students likely to score low on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) can be identified in advance, they can be advised to take existing preparatory programs, or programs can be developed to meet their needs. Correlation coefficients for a number of available independent variables with MCAT scores were determined for a population of premedical students at Xavier University of Louisiana. American College Testing (ACT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores were found to have similar ability to predict MCAT scores, with a correlation coefficient of 0.64 between ACT composite and MCAT total scores. Correlations of sophomore year grade point average (GPA) with MCAT scores were only slightly weaker. Use of subtest scores for the ACT and SAT, grades in science courses, and Nelson-Denny Reading Test scores did not improve prediction to any real extent, either when used alone or in multiple linear regression analysis. In contrast to some previous studies, predictions for black men were as good as those for black women. Use of only ACT composite and sophomore year GPA together gave correlations only slightly weaker than predictions using a full range of variables; data from ACT composite and sophomore year GPA can be used for calculating predictive equations on many available micro-computers. These procedures may not be applicable to minority students at majority institutions.
The Association of American Medical Colleges publishes an enormous database each year, which encompasses every conceivable category of medical education. This information covers high-school student premedical activities, medical school/student data, demographics of residents and fellows in training, a profile of medical school faculty according to academic rank and the enrollment of each medical school in the country. It is all categorized according to race, ethnicity and gender. Furthermore, it is a longitudinal survey and, therefore, valid comparisons can be made over long periods of time. The extensive coverage of African-American involvement in the system at all levels allows for healthcare planners, administrators, politicians and students/parents at all levels to use this as a roadmap for planning purposes. Much of the data is broken down according to individual states, thus enabling students to make better decisions about selecting private versus public institutions for their training. The data on residents in training and medical school faculty provides very useful information for healthcare planners, state and federal government officials, and medical school deans and university administrators interested in addressing diversity issues within their respective domains.
Medical education requires student comprehension of both technical (scientific/medical) and non-technical (general) vocabulary. Our experience with “English as a second language” (ESL) Arab students suggested they often have problems comprehending scientific statements because of weaknesses in their understanding of non-scientific vocabulary. This study aimed to determine whether ESL students have difficulties with general vocabulary that could hinder their understanding of scientific/medical texts.
A survey containing English text was given to ESL students in the premedical years of an English-medium medical school in an Arabic country. The survey consisted of sample questions from the Medical College Admission Test (USA). Students were instructed to identify all unknown words in the text.
ESL students commenced premedical studies with substantial deficiencies in English vocabulary. Students from English-medium secondary schools had a selective deficiency in scientific/medical terminology which disappeared with time. Students from Arabic-medium secondary schools had equal difficulty with general and scientific/medical vocabulary. Deficiencies in both areas diminished with time but remained even after three years of English-medium higher education.
Typically, when teaching technical subjects to ESL students, attention is focused on subject-unique vocabulary and associated modifiers. This study highlights that ESL students also face difficulties with the general vocabulary used to construct statements employing technical words. Such students would benefit from increases in general vocabulary knowledge.
Medical education; Premedical education; Language; English; Medical students; Teaching; Oman
To determine the self-concepts of chiropractic students as science students and if any personal variable affect their self-concepts.
Students in their first trimester and eighth trimester at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic during the 1993 academic year (n=158).
Peterson-Yaakobi Q-Sort, National Assessment of Educational Progress, two-tailed T-test, one way analysis of variance and Spearman-rho correlation.
The majority of students have positive self- concepts as science students and although there was a difference between the 2 trimesters, it was not significant. As a group they generally had less exposure to science compared to undergraduates from a selected science program. Variables of socio-economic status, undergraduate major, and highest completed level of education did not statistically affect their self-concept.
Chiropractic students had the self-concept that enables them to subscribe to the philosophical foundations of science and better engage in basic sciences and, later, science-based clinical research. Knowledge of this self- concept can be used in the development of a more rigorous basic science curricula and clinical research programs at chiropractic colleges with the ultimate goal of providing a more firm scientifically based foundation for the profession.
The belief that college students gain 15 lbs during freshman year is widespread, yet the evidence for this is limited. The authors aimed to determine whether college students gain weight during freshman year.
The authors studied unmarried freshmen living on-campus at a private university in the northeastern United States.
The authors used an online survey to collect information about social behaviors and weight.
The authors observed an average weight gain of 2.7 lbs. About half of the students gained weight, and 15% lost weight. Men gained more weight than did women.
Freshman weight gain was 5.5 times greater than that experienced by the general population.
college students; Freshman 15; weight gain
The number of medical school applications continues to rise despite recent reports of decreased physician job satisfaction. To better understand this paradoxical trend, I surveyed 84 premedical students about their expectations of a medical career. Almost all respondents anticipated that as physicians they would be able to cure, heal, and help their patients (98%) and that their work would be intellectually satisfying (95%). Most anticipated that their jobs would be prestigious (83%) and even fun (73%). Far fewer than half the respondents would be discouraged from pursuing a medical career by the fear of being sued (38%), business worries (22%), or administrative duties (20%). Comparison of the student responses with results of a physician job satisfaction survey carried out the same year showed that the students, as a group, were modestly idealistic with respect to the daily work of being a physician and somewhat naive about the problems caused by various business and administrative issues. I conclude that premedical students could be better informed about the current reality of being a physician and that practicing physicians are responsible for providing this education.
The Biology Intensive Orientation for Students (BIOS) Program was designed to assess the impact of a 5-d intensive prefreshman program on success and retention of biological science majors at Louisiana State University. The 2005 pilot program combined content lectures and examinations for BIOL 1201, Introductory Biology for Science Majors, as well as learning styles assessments and informational sessions to provide the students with a preview of the requirements of biology and the pace of college. Students were tracked after their BIOS participation, and their progress was compared with a control group composed of students on the BIOS waiting list and a group of BIOL 1201 students who were identified as the academic matches to the BIOS participants (high school GPA, ACT score, and gender). The BIOS participants performed significantly better on the first and second exams, they had a higher course average, and they had a higher final grade than the control group. These students also had higher success rates (grade of “A,” “B,” or “C”) during both the fall and spring semesters and remained on track through the first semester of their sophomore year to graduate in 4 yr at a significantly higher rate than the control group.
College students at university have to face several stress factors. Although sports practice has been considered as having beneficial effects upon stress and general health, few studies have documented its influence on this specific population. The aim of this comparative study was to determine whether the intensity of the college students’ sports practice (categorized into three groups: rare, regular, or intensive) would influence their levels of stress and self-efficacy, their coping strategies, and their academic success/failure. Three self-completion questionnaires were administered to 1071 French freshmen during their compulsory medical visit at the preventive medicine service of the university. Results indicated that students with intensive sport practice reported lower scores of general stress, academic stress, and emotion-focused coping strategies, and higher scores of self-efficacy than those with rare practice. However, the proportion of successful students did not differ significantly between the three groups of sports practice.
sport practice; stress; coping; academic success; college students