Medical school selection: impact of dysfunctional tendencies on academic performance

Knights, Janice A., and Kennedy, Barbara J. (2007) Medical school selection: impact of dysfunctional tendencies on academic performance. Medical Education, 41 (4). pp. 362-368.

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Purpose: Dysfunctional personality characteristics have a negative impact on the learning process, academic motivation, academic grades and course attendance. They are associated with higher levels of anxiety and negative mood before examinations, a lack of self-confidence and fear of failure, social skills deficits, and personal and social relationship problems. Dysfunctional personality characteristics inhibit interpersonal working relationships and are detrimental to team effectiveness. Previous research revealed that the majority of students selected into an Australian undergraduate medical programme via the process of academic merit, application and interview reported elevated levels of dysfunctional personality characteristics. Our research now identifies those patterns of dysfunctional behaviour that impacted on academic grades over the first 3 years of the medical programme.

Methods: Dysfunctional personality characteristics in a sample of Australian undergraduate medical students were assessed with the Hogan Development Survey (HDS). The scores of 139 students were then correlated with their end-of-year examination marks for each of the first 3 years of medical training, and their average grade.

Results: Pearson's bivariate correlation analysis revealed that there were a number of significant negative relationships between academic grades and the HDS syndromes of Away and Against. There were significant positive relationships between academic grades and the HDS syndrome of Diligent.

Conclusions: To enrol and teach students who fail to graduate, need to repeat, choose not to pursue a career in medicine upon graduation, or become inefficient practitioners is costly. A measure of dysfunctional behaviour has the potential to predict academic performance and improve the cost-effectiveness of medical education.

Item ID: 2354
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2923
Keywords: school admission criteria; schools; medical; educational measurement; education; medical; undergraduate; personality disorders; psychology; humans; male; female; adolescent; adult; Australia
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2009 01:52
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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