Analysis of factors that predict clinical performance in medical school

Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2009 Oct;14(4):455-64. doi: 10.1007/s10459-007-9088-9. Epub 2007 Nov 21.


Academic achievement indices including GPAs and MCAT scores are used to predict the spectrum of medical student academic performance types. However, use of these measures ignores two changes influencing medical school admissions: student diversity and affirmative action, and an increased focus on communication skills. To determine if GPA and MCAT predict performance in medical school consistently across students, and whether either predicts clinical performance in clerkships. A path model was developed to examine relationships among indices of medical student performance during the first three years of medical school for five cohorts of medical students. A structural equation approach was used to calculate the coefficients hypothesized in the model for majority and minority students. Significant differences between majority and minority students were observed. MCAT scores, for example, did not predict performance of minority students in the first year of medical school but did predict performance of majority students. This information may be of use to medical school admissions and resident selection committees.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • College Admission Test*
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Educational Status
  • Humans
  • Michigan
  • Models, Educational
  • Regression Analysis
  • School Admission Criteria*
  • Schools, Medical / standards*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Students, Medical*
  • United States