alexa Academic, social and cultural factors influencing medical school grade performance.


Family Medicine & Medical Science Research

Author(s): Alfayez SF, Strand DA, Carline JD

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Abstract Studies of medical student performance have focused on various factors, including premedical academics, maturity, familial background and support, and personal experiences with illness. Most studies have been conducted in countries with highly developed educational systems and similar cultural and social systems. It is not clear that these findings can be applied to developing countries, where the educational and cultural experiences may be very different, and where medical instruction is carried out in a non-native language. Information was obtained from a survey of 153 fifth- and sixth-year medical students at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia. The survey measured premedical educational, social and cultural experiences that might affect medical school performance. Men performed as well as women in the medical school despite heavy familial and social commitments. Women's performance seems to be more influenced by changes in living environment. Achievement in premedical years was correlated positively with grade performance in medical school. Competence in the high-school English courses was related to medical school performance. Interest in the study of medicine prior to medical school was not related to performance. Other motivations, such as social gains, financial benefits or family wish, were related to lower performance. Current interest in clinical medicine correlated negatively with performance. Students motivated by the presence of chronic ill health in their families performed significantly lower. Factors influencing medical school performance in developed countries had similar impact on medical students in a developing country. Social factors, unique to the country, also play a role in medical student performance.
This article was published in Med Educ and referenced in Family Medicine & Medical Science Research

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