Objectives: The aim was to examine main reasons for students' medical school choice and their relationship with students' characteristics and motivation during the students' medical study.
Methods: In this multisite cross-sectional study, all Year-1 and Year-4 students who had participated in a selection procedure in one of the three Dutch medical schools included in the study were invited to complete an online survey comprising personal data, their main reason for medical school choice and standard, validated questionnaires to measure their strength of motivation (Strength of Motivation for Medical School-Revised) and autonomous and controlled type of motivation (Academic Self-regulation Questionnaire). Four hundred seventy-eight students participated. We performed frequency analyses on the reasons for medical school choice and regression analyses and ANCOVAs to study their associations with students' characteristics and motivation during their medical study.
Results: Students indicated 'city' (Year-1: 24.7%, n=75 and Year-4: 36.0%, n=52) and 'selection procedure' (Year-1: 56.9%, n=173 and Year-4: 46.9%, n=68) as the main reasons for their medical school choice. The main reasons were associated with gender, age, being a first-generation university student, ethnic background and medical school, and no significant associations were found between the main reasons and the strength and type of motivation during the students' medical study.
Conclusions: Most students had based their medical school choice on the selection procedure. If medical schools desire to achieve a good student-curriculum fit and attract a diverse student population aligning the selection procedure with the curriculum and taking into account various students' different approaches is important.