Mandatory Microcomputers: Potential Effects on Medical School Recruitment and Admissions
Mavis, Brian E.
Smith, Jane M.
- Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
Medical Education Online
(issn: 1087-2981, eissn: 1087-2981)
To inform discussions about a proposal that required incoming medical students own a microcomputer, applicants accepted for admission to the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University were mailed a survey which focused on microcomputer literacy, ownership and perceptions of a mandatory microcomputer proposal. The response rate was 79%. Two-thirds of respondents had access to a microcomputer at home; more had access at school. Microcomputer ownership ranged from 95% for respondents with graduate education to 28% for underrepresented minorities. Reactions to the proposal were mixed: male and graduate-educated respondents were most in favor whereas underrepresented minority respondents reported that such a policy would negatively influence their decision to attend our medical school. Cost was a concern for respondents independent of their support for the proposal. The results suggest that despite increased computer literacy, this proposal could undermine efforts to recruit a diverse matriculating class. Other computer-based innovations in medical school admissions will favor computer literate students.