Int J Med Educ. 2022 Sep 2;13:249-255. doi: 10.5116/ijme.62f6.10b6.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the association between the achievements of medical students and whether they were admitted via the pre-medical track or the regular direct track.
METHODS: We performed a comparative retrospective data study using data from a three-year experimental cohort in a six-year medical school. We analyzed the academic achievements of all students admitted at one Israeli medical school between 2013-2015, either directly to the six-year program or via a pre-medical track. We compared averages of both yearly final grades and final medical examinations grades between the two groups. Descriptive statistics were calculated and differences between groups were evaluated using multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: Of the 324 students included in the study, 65 (20.1%) were enrolled in all three cohorts of the pre-medical track. Age and Gender distribution were nearly similar for both tracks. For the first two cohorts, the average final grades of year one of pre-medical students were significantly higher than those of regular direct track (F=(3,167) 6.10, p=0.001), but the opposite was true for the third cohort (F=(3,110)2.38, p=0.073). No further statistically significant differences were found neither between the groups in their final exams grades nor between choosing a MD/PhD optional track and admission pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest promising achievements with the pre-medical admission pathway. This should encourage further discussion about the significant potential human resources lost by current admission processes and may question the effectiveness of six-year programs in medical schools.