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Med Teach. 2006 Dec;28(8):734-41.

Do teaching faculty resources affect the choice of medical career?

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University Medical School of Rouen, France.


The faculty to student (F/S) ratio is a key criterion in ranking medical universities. In France, the registration of students at the medical university in their home region is mandatory. At the end of undergraduate studies, students have to take the National Ranking Exam (NRE), and choice of specialty is based on their rank. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between teaching faculty resources in medical universities and the ranking of students on the NRE. All 32 public medical universities with a complete curriculum were included. Correlation of the 2003-2004 F/S ratio with the mean rank of students at the 2004 NRE was assessed using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient [r(s)]. The overall university F/S ratios ranged from 1.16 to 2.62 overall, and from 0.68 to 1.63 and 0.47 to 1.08 for tenured and non-tenured positions, respectively. All were significantly correlated with mean rank at the NRE (r(s) = -0.53, r(s) = -0.50, r(s) = -0.52, respectively, all p < 0.01). As this link between teaching means and students' performance has consequences in the competition for career choice, large disparities among medical universities are not legitimate in a regulated model. Deregulation of regional applications should be considered to come close to equality of opportunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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