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Iatreia

Print version ISSN 0121-0793

Abstract

DAVID BASSAN, Norberto  and  VINUESA, Miguel Ángel. Scientific aptitude and academic performance in incoming students of medicine. Iatreia [online]. 2005, vol.18, n.4, pp.467-475. ISSN 0121-0793.

Acting scientifically is a competence to be developed by medical students and expressed by them when physicians. The aim of this study was to establish the relationship between scientific aptitude in medical applicants incoming to Rosario Interamerican Open University (UAI) and their academic performance in Human Genetics and Histology. Seventy four out of 102 students (29 male and 45 female) filled in the aptitude scientific model (ASM) designed by D’Ottavio & Bassan (1989). For both, Human Genetics and Histology, performance of the students was considered as satisfactory when they reached a minimum of 85% correct answers in their objective periodic and final examinations. Conversely, lower performance was considered as less than satisfactory. The aforementioned 74 students correctly answered 3.89 ± 1.96 of the 12 ASM problems; average for males was 4.50 ± 1.99 and that for females, 3.48 ± 1.83, (p < 0.025). Students with a satisfactory performance in Histology (n = 34) showed higher scientific aptitude 4.67 ± 2.04 compared with those (n = 40) that had a less than satisfactory one 3.02 ± 1.36 (p < 0.001). Significant gender differences were registered: males (n = 14) 5.42 ± 2.37 vs. (n = 15) 3.20 ± 1.14, p < 0.01, and females (n = 22) 4.18 ± 1.56 vs. (n = 23) 2.78 ± 1.47, p < 0.01). Concerning Human Genetics, those students with a satisfactory performance (n = 46) revealed higher scientific aptitude: 4.00 ± 2.00 than those with a less than satisfactory one (n = 28): 2.71 ± 1.04, p < 0.01. As in Histology, significant gender differences appeared: males (n = 18) 5.22 ± 2.12 vs. (n = 11) 3.54 ± 1.21, p < 0.05, and females, (n = 30) 3.90 1.70 vs.(n = 15) 2.33 ± 1.70, p<0.01). Summing up, in both subject matters students with a satisfactory performance evidenced a higher average of scientific aptitude than that of the studied population. Consequently, we interpret that the degree of scientific aptitude could be a predictive variable of future academic performance.

Keywords : academic performance; genetics; histology; incoming students to medicine; scientific aptitude.

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