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Int J Med Educ. 2019 May 24;10:106-110. doi: 10.5116/ijme.5cda.79ab.

Supplemental education in early childhood may be associated with professional achievement.

Author information

1
Mukainada Child Clinic, Hiroshima, Japan, and Department of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.
2
Department of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.

Abstract

Objectives:

To investigate which extracurricular lessons medical doctors and medical students received in early childhood and to compare the results to a similarly aged representative sample.

Methods:

This retrospective questionnaire-based study investigated the prevalence of supplemental early education, along with professional outcomes later in life. The study compared two samples: First, as a proxy for "professional success", medical students and residents (n = 147) were asked to recall which extracurricular lessons they had taken when pre-school aged. This was contrasted to a control sample representative of the general population in Japan. Included extracurricular lessons were: "keyboard/piano", "Japanese calligraphy", "abacus use", "swimming", and "foreign language." Frequencies were compared and tested using contingency tables and the Chi-squared test. P-values < 0.05 were considered significant.

Results:

The control sample reported a lower rate (32.7%) of extracurricular activities than medical students did (51.6%, χ2(df=1, n=147) = 13.5, p < 0.001). The proportion of medical students receiving keyboard lessons during their pre-school years was significantly higher (43.5%) than that of the general population (9.1%, χ2(df=1, n=147) = 65.2, p < 0.001). Similar, but less robust, results were observed with Japanese calligraphy (11.5% vs. 3.1%, χ2(df=1, n=147)=11.3, p=0.001), abacus use (4.1% vs. 0.4%, χ2(df=1, n=147) = 7.4, p=0.007), and swimming (33.3% vs. 22.0%, χ2(df=1, n=147) = 6.1, p = 0.013).

Conclusions:

Our results suggest that, in Japan, early supplementary education, including keyboard lessons, is associated with professional success later in life. Future research is warranted to elucidate whether there is a causal link between early extracurricular education and professional outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

education; extracurricular activities; keyboard lessons; medical doctors and students; pre-school children

PMID:
31131832
DOI:
10.5116/ijme.5cda.79ab
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