Should applicants to Nottingham University Medical School study a non-science A-level?: a cohort study

Article English OPEN
Yates, Janet ; Smith, Jennifer ; James, David ; Ferguson, Eamonn (2009)
  • Publisher: BioMed Central
  • Journal: BMC Medical Education, volume 9, pages 5-5 (eissn: 1472-6920)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-9-5, pmc: PMC2650695
  • Subject: Education | Research Article | Medicine(all)

Background\ud It has been suggested that studying non-science subjects at A-level should be compulsory for medical students. Our admissions criteria specify only Biology, Chemistry and one or more additional subjects. This study aimed to determine whether studying a non-science subject for A-level is an independent predictor of achievement on the undergraduate medical course.\ud \ud Methods\ud The subjects of this retrospective cohort study were 164 students from one entry-year group (October 2000), who progressed normally on the 5-year undergraduate medical course at Nottingham. Pre-admission academic and socio-demographic data and undergraduate course marks were obtained. T-test and hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses were undertaken to identify independent predictors of five course outcomes at different stages throughout the course.\ud \ud Results\ud There was no evidence that the choice of science or non-science as the third or fourth A-level subject had any influence on course performance. Demographic variables (age group, sex, and fee status) had some predictive value but ethnicity did not. Pre-clinical course performance was the strongest predictor in the clinical phases (pre-clinical Themes A&B (knowledge) predicted Clinical Knowledge, p < 0.001, and pre-clinical Themes C&D (skills) predicted Clinical Skills, p = < 0.01).\ud \ud Conclusion\ud This study of one year group at Nottingham Medical School provided no evidence that the admissions policy on A-level requirements should specify the choice of third or fourth subject.
  • References (23)
    23 references, page 1 of 3

    Universities and Colleges Admission Service, Online Statistics [http://search1.ucas.co.uk/fandf00/index.html] Universities and Colleges Admission Service [http:// www.ucas.ac.uk] Howe A, Campion P, Searle J, Smith H: New perspectives - approaches to medical education at four new UK medical schools. BMJ 2004, 329:327-332.

    Universities and Colleges Admission Service, Course Search [http://www.ucas.ac.uk/students/coursesearch/] James D, Chilvers C: Academic and non-academic predictors of success on the Nottingham undergraduate medical course 1970-1995. Med Educ 2001, 35:1056-1064.

    Ferguson E, James D, Madeley L: Factors associated with success in medical school: systematic review of the literature. BMJ 2002, 324:952-957.

    7. Ferguson E, James D, O'Hehir F, Sanders A: Pilot study of the roles of personality, references, and personal statements in relation to performance over the five years of a medical degree. BMJ 2003, 326:429-432.

    8. Yates J, James D: Predicting the 'Strugglers': a case-control study of students at Nottingham University Medical School. BMJ 2006, 332:1009-1013.

    9. Yates J, James D: Risk factors for poor performance on the undergraduate medical course: cohort study at Nottingham University. Med Educ 2007, 41:65-73.

    10. Arulampalam W, Naylor R, Smith J: Factors affecting the probability of first year medical student dropout in the UK: a logistic analysis for the intake cohorts of 1980-92. Med Educ 2004, 38:492-503.

    11. McManus I, Smithers E, Partridge P, Keeling A, Fleming P: A levels and intelligence as predictors of medical careers in UK doctors: 20 year prospective study. BMJ 2003, 327:139-142.

    12. McManus I, Powis D, Wakeford R, Ferguson E, James D, Richards P: Intellectual aptitude tests and A levels for selecting UK school leaver entrants for medical school. BMJ 2005, 331:555-560.

    13. Cowley C: Polemic: five proposals for a medical school admission policy. J Med Ethics 2006, 32:491-494.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark