The perceptions of anatomists in the US and Europe of the skills and attributes required of newly-recruited medical students☆
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Abstract:

AbstractBackground and purposeAdmission procedures for recruiting students to medical school vary considerably across the world. Notwithstanding such variability, it is important to know what skills and attributes (including attitudes and personality traits) are required of the students by their teachers on entering medical school.ProceduresAnatomists are often the teachers who first meet the students as they enter medical school and this report analyses, by means of a paper-based questionnaire, the putative skills required of their medical students by anatomists from the U.S.A. and Europe. Questionnaires were distributed to 150 anatomists, of varying ages and teaching experience, with 108 responding with completed questionnaires (i.e. 72% returns).FindingsThe findings from a questionnaire suggest that there are few differences between anatomists in the U.S.A. and Europe, even though medical students are postgraduates in the U.S.A. but undergraduates in Europe. Furthermore, the skill requirements expected of the students differed only slightly according to the gender and age of the anatomists and to whether or not they had clinical qualifications. In order of perceived importance, the most important skills and attributes required of the students were found to be: good study skills, memory/factual retention, conscientiousness, emotional stability, understanding of biology (but not chemistry, physics, mathematics, statistics, or understanding of the scientific method), life-long learning skills, ability to study independently, problem-solving abilities, readiness to be challenged, communication skills, and teamwork skills.ConclusionsAnatomists within the U.S.A. and Europe essentially agree on the skills and attributes initially required of their medical students, as well as those not deemed initially important. These findings are presented with the view of enhancing admission policies and procedures for admitting students into medical schools.

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