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Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2017 Feb 24;31:14. doi: 10.18869/mjiri.31.14. eCollection 2017.

Academic performance in Iranian medical students during the pre-clinical stage.

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Preventive Medicine and Public Health Research Center, Department of Community Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Mental Health Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Better understanding of factors associated with medical school performance is necessary to improve admission processes and to help students succeed in their career. This study follows a group of Iranian med students during their first 2.5 years of medical education, to evaluate their academic success in accordance with their demographic, cognitive and non-cognitive characteristics. Methods: 143 of 200 matriculants of Iran University of Medical Sciences medical school in 2010, were followed for 5 consecutive semesters of the preclinical stage. Demographic and cognitive characteristics were collected using self-administered data collection forms. The NEO Five-Factor (personality) Inventory (NEO-FFI) was used to assess participants' non-cognitive characteristics. The 5 semesters' cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) was the measure of academic performance. Pooled t-test, one-way ANOVA, multiple linear regression and logistic regression model, and Spearman coefficients of correlation were applied in data analysis Results: There was a significant difference in participants' GPA regarding their gender (p=0.008), using privilege in National University Entrance Examination (NUEE)(p<0.0001), the number of times one has taken part in NUEE (p=0.034) and being occupied in paid jobs (p=0.01). There were no significant differences in participants' GPA regarding NEO-FFI domains. Conclusions: Females and students with a better academic performance prior to their admission in medical school had better academic records. We found no association between academic performance and personality because participants were followed through a preclinical stage where non-cognitive characteristics plays a less important role in their performance and evaluations.


Iran; Medical education; Medicine; Students; Undergraduate

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