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1.  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
2.  Medicine or Science—A Study of Career Decisions 
Canadian Medical Association Journal  1967;96(14):1009-1018.
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.
PMCID: PMC1922737  PMID: 6020547
3.  Applications and Enrolments at the Western Medical Schools 
Canadian Medical Association Journal  1966;95(26):1368-1374.
All applicants and those who subsequently enrolled for the 1964-65 session in the Western medical schools were studied with the hope that it would encourage a national registration of applicants. Seven hundred and sixty-four applicants completed 865 applications for 288 places in four schools. Although the principal factor in selecting medical students in all Western schools is pre-medical performance, 49 “good-quality” (academically of good standing and under 30 years of age) resident applicants were not accepted in their own provincial school, and 49 places were filled with “poor-quality” students.
The loss of good applicants to the Western medical schools and the 20% overlap of each school's applicant pool with that of other schools suggests that objective standards of quality must be developed, and that a regular annual national assessment of applicants should be conducted by the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges.
PMCID: PMC1935886  PMID: 5928536
4.  The Premedical Student: His Progress 
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.
PMCID: PMC1928565  PMID: 14278022
5.  The Premedical Student: His Identity 
Canadian Medical Association Journal  1964;91(19):1011-1018.
A prospective study is currently being conducted of students who were freshmen at the University of British Columbia in 1961-1962. Three cohorts are being followed: 136 premedical students, 107 science students, and 136 persons comprising a sample of general arts students. At registration in 1961, the only demographic difference was that the Premedical cohort had a greater proportion of catholics and persons from upper occupational classes. Premedical students generally performed as well in high school as science students and better than general arts students, though the academic potential of science students as measured by achievement and aptitude tests was superior. Premedical students performed better on freshman examinations than the other cohorts, though a significantly larger proportion of science students (84.4%) actually passed into second year than of premedical students (75.0%). A disturbing observation was that by second year the Science cohort had recruited more than enough students to balance its losses, while the Premedical cohort had lost three times as many students as it recruited. The net effect was not much reduced by students who entered directly from senior matriculation or other universities, since these students were about twice as likely to enter the Science cohort as they were to enter the Premedical cohort.
PMCID: PMC1928090  PMID: 14222669
6.  Factors Relating to Academic Performance of Medical Students at the University of British Columbia 
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.
PMCID: PMC1921932  PMID: 14069612
7.  A Decade of Experience with Medical School Applicants at the University of British Columbia 
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.
PMCID: PMC1921505  PMID: 14012835
8.  A Prospectus for Canadian Studies in Medical Education 
The need for factual information on all phases of medical education is widely recognized. In the United States the Association of American Medical Colleges has initiated an extensive program of research in medical education. No comparable program exists in Canada.
On the basis of studies of medical students at the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan, a prospectus for Canadian studies in medical education is suggested. Such studies might include an annual census of Canadian medical students as well as detailed studies of specific problems. Until such studies have been undertaken in Canada, only an incomplete picture of the various problems in medical education will be available.
PMCID: PMC1921501  PMID: 13966028

Results 1-8 (8)