What factors contribute to success and failure in the First Year at Medical School?

Jones, Colin Howard (2018) What factors contribute to success and failure in the First Year at Medical School? Ed.D thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Applicants to Medical School must be academically successful to secure a place at university. Despite their success in secondary education and the stringent entry criteria, a significant number of students fail summative assessments at the end of their First Year. This gives rises to the following question: “Why do previously high achieving students fail in the university system?”

Existing models seek to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary withdrawal from university and to explain academic withdrawal in the context of an individual’s academic and social integration into a new educational environment, their commitment to the institution and their commitment to Medicine as a career. However, much of the existing literature on failure in the early years at Medical School has focused on pre-university academic ability, as demonstrated by grade achievement at the end of secondary education, and/or faculty’s perspectives of student failure.

This dissertation adopts a qualitative approach to understanding success and failure in the first year at Medical School from the perspective of medical students themselves. Their perspectives are explored within the model of withdrawal and persistence proposed by Tinto (1975) and interpreted in the context of existing literature on failure in the early years of higher education in general and in Medicine in particular. These findings are further reframed within an analysis based upon Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice. This analysis considers the students’ field of operation, the relative positions of agents within the field and the capitals which allow them to hold those positions, and the habitus of the agents and the institution itself. Through this analysis, factors that students believe may predispose to success and failure are identified and discussed. This in turn leads to a consideration of how my own understanding and professional practice have developed and might develop in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (Ed.D)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Medical students, healthcare professions' education, assessment, success, failure, transition, Bourdieu.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Wardle, Dr. Georgina
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Colin H Jones
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30996
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2018 17:22
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2019 13:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/30996

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