Influence of gender and selection procedures on academic performance of undergraduate medical students

Jérôme R. Lechien, Chantal Kempenaers, Michèle Dramaix, Paul Linkowski


Objectives. To determine the impact of gender on success of students studying Medicine in Belgium from the first year (MED1) to the sixth year (MED6) of training, in the context (or not) of a selection process after three years at university. Subjects and method. Data were evaluated from two cohorts of medical students: students of the first group (n=88) were not submitted to a selection process and students of the second group (n=76) were submitted to a selection process after MED3. Students were enrolled in Brussels Medical School. The variables studied were the grades obtained after the first session of exams, and the student’s gender. Variables were put into perspective in relation to the cohort/study year. STATA software was used for statistical analysis. Results. Linear regression showed the significant predictability of the grade obtained in MED2 for the grade obtained in MED6 for males and females only in the context of selection (r=0.51; p<0.001). The impact of grades after three years on those after six years was negative in the first group of students (r=-0.17; p=0.005) and positive in the second group (r=0.54; p<0.001). Conclusion. These results show a moderate link between success in MED1 and success in MED6, as long as the students undergo selection. A selection system after MED1, based on medical courses, inter alia, could speed up the maturation of students. Further studies with a higher number of candidates are necessary to confirm these results.


Gender; Medical School; Selection; Undergraduate academic success

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