A multi-site study on medical school selection, performance, motivation and engagement

A. Wouters*, G. Croiset, Nienke R. Schripsema, Janke Cohen-Schotanus, G. W.G. Spaai, R. L. Hulsman, R. A. Kusurkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Medical schools seek ways to improve their admissions strategies, since the available methods prove to be suboptimal for selecting the best and most motivated students. In this multi-site cross-sectional questionnaire study, we examined the value of (different) selection procedures compared to a weighted lottery procedure, which includes direct admission based on top pre-university grade point averages (≥8 out of 10; top-pu-GPA). We also considered whether students had participated in selection, prior to being admitted through weighted lottery. Year-1 (pre-clinical) and Year-4 (clinical) students completed standard validated questionnaires measuring quality of motivation (Academic Self-regulation Questionnaire), strength of motivation (Strength of Motivation for Medical School-Revised) and engagement (Utrecht Work Engagement Scale-Student). Performance data comprised GPA and course credits in Year-1 and clerkship performance in Year-4. Regression analyses were performed. The response rate was 35% (387 Year-1 and 273 Year-4 students). Top-pu-GPA students outperformed selected students. Selected Year-1 students reported higher strength of motivation than top-pu-GPA students. Selected students did not outperform or show better quality of motivation and engagement than lottery-admitted students. Participation in selection was associated with higher engagement and better clerkship performance in Year-4. GPA, course credits and strength of motivation in Year-1 differed between students admitted through different selection procedures. Top-pu-GPA students perform best in the medical study. The few and small differences found raise questions about the added value of an extensive selection procedure compared to a weighted lottery procedure. Findings have to be interpreted with caution because of a low response rate and small group sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-462
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Cite this