Performance-based selection of medical students linked to successful study progress

January 01, 0001

Performance-based selection of medical students linked to successful study progress

Although admission to university in Austria is generally open for applicants who have successfully completed secondary school, in some areas of study, including human medicine and dentistry, the selection of students by additional criteria has become legally possible as a result of a decision by the European Court in 2005. The researchers from Austria studied the impact of this important change on the temporal pattern of medical students' progress through the study programme. All 2532 regular students admitted to the diploma programme in human medicine at the Medical University of Graz during the academic years 2002/03-2007/08 were included in the analysis.

The cumulative probability of study success was dramatically better in selected students versus those who were admitted openly. Whereas only 20.1-26.4% of openly admitted students completed the first two study semesters within the scheduled time of 1 year, this percentage rose to 75.6-91.9% for those selected by admission tests. Similarly, the cumulative probability for dropping out of study was also significantly lower in selected students. By univariate as well as multivariate techniques, student nationality, age and sex were also identified as partly significant, albeit weak, predictors.

The researchers concluded: "The analysis convincingly demonstrates that, by contrast with open admission, performance-based selection of medical students significantly raises the probability of successful study progress. Additionally, the proportion of dropouts is significantly reduced. Thus, admission tests save considerable costs, in terms of both student time and public resources."

This study supports the growing worldwide trend for such selection methods.

For the full abstract, click here.

Medical Education 44(2):205 - 214, January 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Progress of medical students after open admission or admission based on knowledge tests. Gilbert Reibnegger, Hans-Christian Caluba, Daniel Ithaler et al. Correspondence to Gilbert Reibnegger: [email protected]

Category: PT. Professional Training. Keywords: medical education, open admission, selected admission, student retention, student perfomrance, observational study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 16 April 2010

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