Does regional quota status affect the performance of undergraduate medical students in Japan? A 10-year analysis

Int J Med Educ. 2022 Nov 30;13:307-314. doi: 10.5116/ijme.6372.1fce.


Objectives: This study aims to determine whether there is a difference in the academic performance of medical students based on admission type and examine the extent to which entrance examinations predict their performance.

Methods: This observational study utilized existing data from Asahikawa Medical University. Participants were 1057 medical students who had enrolled between 2010 and 2019. Analysis of variance and Tukey's test were utilized to identify differences between admission types. The multiple linear regression explored predictors of cumulative grade point average for each type.

Results: Analysis of variance showed significant differences in the National Center Test (F(3, 1053) =70.78, p <0.001) and cumulative grade point average (F(3, 1053) =3.93, p <0.01). Tukey's post hoc test revealed that two types of general admission students (M=83.52, SD=3.22; M=85.57, SD=3.01) were significantly higher on the National Center Test than two types of regional quota students (M=81.61, SD=3.93; M=80.65, SD=3.61). The cumulative grade point average of a regional quota group (M=2.23, SD=0.34) was significantly higher than two types of general admissions (M=2.11, SD=0.36; M=2.12, SD=0.34). High school grade point averages and females were significant in predicting cumulative grade point averages for each admission (16.0-28.3% variance).

Conclusions: Regional quota students earned a higher cumulative grade point average than those from general admissions, despite their significantly lower scores on the National Center Test. Enhanced utilization of regional quota admissions could become an effective strategy to increase the rural physician workforce.

Keywords: academic performance; japanese medical school; medical school admissions; predictors of grade point average; regional quota.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Physical Examination
  • Physicians*
  • Students, Medical*
  • Universities