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Am J Surg. 2001 Mar;181(3):268-71.

An evaluation of study habits of third-year medical students in a surgical clerkship.

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Department of Surgery, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 19655, Springfield, IL 62794-9655, USA.



This study was developed to assess study habits of medical students in a third-year surgical clerkship and to determine the relationship of these study habits to performance outcomes.


A questionnaire designed to assess medical student study habits was administered at the end of five consecutive 10-week multidisciplinary surgical clerkships. The results of questionnaires from 81 students were analyzed in respect to results on the National Board of Medical Education (NBME) surgical subtest and the multiple stations clinical examination (MSCE) given at the end of each clerkship.


Although only 18 of the total 81 students reported studying in formal but self-directed groups, students who reported studying in a group on average scored 4 points higher on the MSCE than those who did not study in a group (P = 0.001). However, no significant differences or correlations were discovered between any of the study habits and the individual results on the NBME.


Students may benefit from collaborative studying when it comes to clinical experience as demonstrated by improved performance on the MSCE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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