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Can Fam Physician. 2011 Jan;57(1):e26-30.

Debiasing the hidden curriculum: academic equality among medical specialties.

Author information

1
Department of Undergraduate Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. woloshu@ucalgary.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the academic performance of students who entered family medicine residency programs with that of students who entered other disciplines and discern whether or not family physicians are as academically talented as their colleagues in other specialties.

DESIGN:

Retrospective quantitative study.

SETTING:

University of Calgary in Alberta.

PARTICIPANTS:

Three graduating classes of students (2004 to 2006) from the University of Calgary medical school.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Student performance on various undergraduate certifying examinations in years 1, 2, and 3, along with third-year in-training evaluation reports and total score on the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I.

RESULTS:

Complete data were available for 99% of graduates (N = 295). In the analysis, residency program (family medicine [n = 96] versus non-family medicine [n = 199]) served as the independent variable. Using a 1-way multivariate ANOVA (analysis of variance), no significant difference among any of the mean performance scores was observed (F(5289) = 1.73, P > .05). Students who entered family medicine were also well represented within the top 10 rankings of the various performance measures.

CONCLUSION:

The academic performance of students who pursued careers in family medicine did not differ from that of students who chose other specialties. Unfounded negativity toward family medicine has important societal implications, especially at a time when the gap between the number of family physicians and patients seeking primary care services appears to be widening.

PMID:
21252122
PMCID:
PMC3024184
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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