Medical School Performance

Unraveling ethnic disparities in undergraduate clinical performance

Recent work conducted at Erasmus MC showed that strong ethnicity-related disparities exist in medical school performance even after adjustments for age, gender, pre-university GPA and socio-demographic variables. A more subjective grading process cannot be ruled out as a cause of the lower grades in clinical training achieved by students from ethnic minority groups, but other explanations require further investigation.

A first question we aim to answer is whether non-Dutch students are less well prepared for clinical training, despite receiving the same pre-clinical training and if so, why this is the case. In addition, we aim to conduct more detailed experimental studies to understand the processes underlying judgment and decision making in clinical assessments. Finally, we are considering, designing, implementing and evaluating interventions for improvement, such as attempts to make assessment in clinical training less subjective and to create awareness of cultural bias by both students and assessors.

Predictors of medical school performance

In this line of research we aim to identify factors that predict performance throughout medical school. Several issues are studied: the evaluation of educational management decisions such as the introduction of an academic dismissal policy, the development of a model to identify students at risk for failure, further characterization of such students at risk and the effects of the development of a remedial program for these students, the development of self-regulated learning skills during medical school.