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

Yates, Janet; Smith, Jennifer; James, David; Ferguson, Eamonn

Authors

Janet Yates

Jennifer Smith

David James

Eamonn Ferguson

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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 21, 2009
Journal BMC Medical Education
Electronic ISSN 1472-6920
Publisher Humana Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number 5
Institution Citation Yates, J., Smith, J., James, D., & Ferguson, E. (2009). Should applicants to Nottingham University Medical School study a non-science A-level?: a cohort study. BMC Medical Education, 9, doi:10.1186/1472-6920-9-5
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-9-5
Publisher URL http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/9/5
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0




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