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

Yates, Janet and Smith, Jennifer and James, David and Ferguson, Eamonn (2009) Should applicants to Nottingham University Medical School study a non-science A-level?: a cohort study. BMC Medical Education, 9 . 5/1-5/9. ISSN 1472-6920

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Abstract

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusion

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.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Medical Education Unit and Medical Courses Office
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-9-5
Depositing User: Wahid, Ms. Haleema
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2014 11:40
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 14:39
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/3056

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